I never thought that I would be writing about the value of silence. At boarding school, we kept silence in the dormitory, in the study hall, and always in our single file march to wherever we were to go. It was a surprise to me, however, as a novice to be in trouble for a lack of silence. I was just too friendly and would speak without remembering that we were to keep silence at all times except for the half hour od recreation after the noon meal and the presided recreations at night. Conges were a relief since we were allowed to speak on these holidays.
As a young Religious, there was also the rule of silence, but being with the little ones all day and night made the idea of silence seem good when I had the opportunity for it, but it was while I was at the Trinita in Rome that I was finally aware of the great gift of silence for our interior life. Since then, I have loved silence. As Thomas Keating says, "Silence is God's first language!"