“Peace is preserved by silence and the mind raised up by contemplation.”

A brother should never pass over in silence what needs to be said, nor say what should not he spoken.

When a brother intends to speak, Let him first consider his words in his heart that he may express honorably, moderately, truthfully and kindly what it is he wishes to say.

For the tongue is deceitful, puffed up, inflamed with duplicity, and hateful to God and humankind.

Dearly beloved, consider carefully what you say, to whom, when or where, how or how much, and certainly why you say it.

Otherwise, if the proper circumstances are lacking, your speech may give rise to a bad conscience in your own heart or to scandal in the heart of your hearer.

[…] Do not do battle with words, nor worry about gaining victory in disputes. Always avoid words which are damaging to the speaker or to the listener.

One should keep away from speech which is not a credit to the one who speaks, or to the one who listens, or to the one about whom a person speaks.

[…] When another has begun to speak, we should be silent, lest we appear to interrupt what the person has to say.

When we sense that our audience is not prepared for what we have to say, we should refrain from speech.

At times we should keep silence to avoid loquaciousness or because we have not yet formulated in a suitable manner what we wish to say.

[…] When we wish to speak for our own edification, let us speak of those whose teaching

can lead us to virtue. When we speak for the edification of others, let us turn to those

whom we hope can be converted by our exhortation.

[…] May you avoid every word that is bitter, proud, disparaging, flattering, vicious, sworn by oaths, superfluous, or careless.

As you ought not speak ill of those who are absent, so you should not laugh at those who are present. Do not jest with those who are senseless, nor envy the learned.

Keep silent about trivialities; speak about what will bear fruit. In your conversation do not keep your heart on your tongue, but rather check your tongue with your heart.

Surely when you come to speak, you can offer a few words that are intelligible. Love quiet

reflection; flee the business of the world.

Through silence the heart is quieted, pain is avoided, peace is maintained, and the mind is raised more quickly to contemplation.

The more you withdraw from the noise of business, the closer will God be to you.

Humbert of Romans (c.1200-1277): From the letter On Regular Observance, from the Supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours for the Order of Preachers.