The virtue of silence

From Knowledge of God: Ancient Spirituality of the Christian East, by Harry Boosalis, on the virtue of silence:

Lossky further emphasizes the close connection between gnosis and the virtue of silence and brings to light its eschatological nature as well: “Gnosis as contemplation is an exit to the state of a future age, a vision of what is beyond history, of what completes history…” He refers to the famous quote of St. Isaac the Syrian, “Silence is a mystery of the age to come, but words are instruments of this world.”


…we recall the visit of Archbishop Theophilos of Alexandria (from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers) to the monks of Scetis: “The brethren who were assembled said to Abba Pambo, ‘Say something to the Archbishop, so that he may be edified’. The old man said to them, ‘If he is not edified by my silence, he will not be edified by my speech’. “

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