In listening to today’s gospel it is important to acknowledge that there is a sense in which we all have a measure of deafness along with a speech impediment. This is not necessarily a physical deafness, but rather the ability to truly listen; and not so much a physical speech impediment, as the inability to speak appropriately and utter the kind of words that build and provide what is needed—or as the Letter to the Ephesians expresses it, words that impart grace to those who hear. And whereas audiologists and speech therapists assist those with physical deafness and speech impediments, monastic silence and vigilance of the heart are among the spiritually therapeutic aids to being able to truly listen and speak the words of Life. Silence serves to offer the opportunity for those who speak to us to be heard, while at the same time assisting that vigilance of heart that chooses wisely and carefully the words we speak. Absent the appropriate practice of silence—that bears fruit in inner recollection and a discerning receptivity—means that we will continue to have an impaired ability to truly listen to others, and will inevitably speak words that injure, tear down, and fail to give Life.