St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Angels, Silence and more

Not too long ago I came upon a wonderful apostolate: Opus Sanctorum Angelorum, translated: Work of the Holy Angels. It's always a good day to talk about angels and remember our own angel given us by God in a more intimate way. Opus Sanctorum Angelorum has made this endeavor a wonderful and edifying apostolate. There is bountiful spiritual formation articles available at the site. I found myself most interested in "silence" which is included in the seven character traits of formation listed for laity at the site. I wondered if all this great information was available in book form; the apostolate contact told me they were working on it! In the meantime, if you write them they will gladly send you an information packet and answer questions for you. email:

A little on silence; I think these articles speak best when read in their entirety, while I can not do justice to this topic. In short, silence has definite healing, restorative and connective attributes leading to better discernment and peace in one's life. Not to be mistaken for a cruel silence inflicted upon others for the sole purpose of hurting and shunning. This silence is a path of peace, healing and goodness. The articles explain two different silences (i.e. silent treatment) that are anything but good and noble.

Here I will post a small excerpt from the article regarding the practice of silence and solitude. Then, be sure to read the article (link included in this title): "Holy Silence, the Secret of the Saints" to get a well-rounded view of this very special and important character trait.

The Practice of Silence and Solitude

Now it is important to be aware that practicing the virtue of silence does not mean that we have to be constantly quiet and never say anything. Nothing could be farther from the truth. For there is such a thing as an unholy silence, for example, giving someone the "silent treatment." To practice the virtue of silence, then, we must know when to speak, and to whom to speak, and the right way to speak.

The Letters of St. Paul contain much helpful advice on this subject, and could even be called a kind of "summa" of how to speak. In the letter to the Philippians he writes that we must not only "act without grumbling and arguing" (Phil 2:15), but also that we must speak only about "what is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is gracious, and anything worthy of praise" (Phil 4:8). And in his letter to the Ephesians he states that we must "never let evil talk pass our lips, and say only the good things men need to hear, things that will really help them" (Eph 4:29). And then he adds: "immorality, or any impurity or greed must never be mentioned…. Silly or suggestive talk is out of place" (Eph 5:2).

We must ever keep in mind, therefore, that silence is not an end in itself, but simply a means to an end, though a very effective one at that. For the primary purpose of silence is to help us grow in the love and knowledge of Christ. And so all our conversations must be selective, and we must sometimes sacrifice our desire to speak with others, if this be the will of God.

Not only that, but we must also practice silence when we are speaking to others. We do this by allowing the other person to speak and listening politely. "Let every man be quick to hear and slow to speak", as St. James tells us (Jas 1:19). In other words, we should first think and then talk. Blessed Giles the Franciscan says on this point: "we should have a neck like a crane, so that our words would travel a long way before they come out of our mouth."

For the entire article on The Practice of Silence and Solitude follow this LINK.


Esther said...

Mahalo Denise. This is better than I had hoped for!
God bless,

Denise said...

I'm so glad Esther! I have really gotten a lot of enrichment and spiritual support from the information at Opus Sanctorum Angelorum.
Hope others can do the same!

Diane said...

Very nice post. I'm making some posts about Opus Angelorum to cover some of their circulars. It is a very good apostolate.

Denise said...

Hi Diane,
Yes, it's a wonderful apostolate. Our Catholic mom's homeschooling support group is studying the Seven Character Traits in regard to working with the angels this year for our spiritual enrichment.
Opus Angelorum has a lot to offer.

I'll enjoy visting your blogspot and reading what you have posted on this apostolate as well.
I've added your blog to my roll :)

Blessings! thanks for visiting,