“It is said of Abba Agathon that he lived for three years with a stone in his mouth, until he learned silence.”
Can you imagine wanting so very much to learn how to be silent that you would put a stone in your mouth and you would be required to take it out before you could speak? I imagine that is the point because perhaps in the time it takes to remove the stone, one would have the opportunity to rethink what one is going to say.
As one who has been known for shooting her mouth off, I can attest that ut us hard to learn silence. Although in recent years, seeing the kinds of things people write on FB, blog comments, Twitter, it hs become my practice to say to myself “Ok, Gloriamarie, you could say such and such. But would it really benefit anyone if you did? Or are you trying to show off?” Usually I decide it is the latter.