Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Forbearance is silence...

Forbearance is silence…

Forbearance is silence,
Virtue of the meek.
Silence is complicity,
Oppression of the weak.

Originally published in GFT Presents: One in Four, Volume 1, Issue 1 (Spring 2016), page 75

The Eye of Silence (1943-44) by Max Ernst


  1. Also published in The Cannon’s Mouth, Issue 60 (June 2016), page 67



    No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.—Ephesians 4:29-32

    Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. ...With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers.—James 3:5-10

    Know this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of God. ...If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, his religion is vain.—James 1:19-20, 26

    O Lord, set a watch before my mouth, a guard at the door of my lips.—Psalms 141:3



    He who guards his mouth protects his life; to open wide one's lips brings downfall.


    Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who make it a friend shall eat its fruit.


    Where words are many, sin is not wanting, but he who restrains his lips does well.


    It is good sense in a man to be slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.


    The fool gives vent to all his anger; but by biding his time, the wise man calms it.


    By patience is a ruler persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.


    Like golden apples in silver settings are words spoken at the proper time.


  3. A brother asked Abba Poemen, ‘Is it better to speak or to be silent?’ The old man said to him, ‘The man who speaks for God's sake does well; but he who is silent for God's sake also does well.’

    Source: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, translated and with a foreword by Benedicta Ward, SLG (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1984), p. 188.


  4. “Human silence...doesn't escape judgment.”—Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, January 17, 2010


  5. “When the truth is spoken, it gives offense, and the voices that speak the truth are put to silence.”—Oscar Romero, April 12, 1979


  6. First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.

    —Attributed to Martin Niemöller (1892-1984), Lutheran Minister and early Nazi supporter who was later imprisoned for opposing Hitler’s regime

    The quotation stems from Niemöller’s lectures during the early postwar period. Different versions of the quotation exist. These can be attributed to the fact that Niemöller spoke extemporaneously and in a number of settings. Much controversy surrounds the content of the poem as it has been printed in varying forms, referring to diverse groups such as Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Trade Unionists, or Communists depending upon the version. Nonetheless his point was that Germans—in particular, he believed, the leaders of the Protestant churches—had been complicit through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people.

    —Holocaust Encyclopedia, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.