Always be prudent in your words; that is, first think and then speak; do not let your tongue run ahead before you think what you have to say. Do not become bold in talking much, my child; many are the evils from this evil boldness. Flee from it as from fire or a viper!
Guard yourself from boldness in talking and untimely words; they dry up the soul of man. Silence, meekness, and the prayer, on the other hand, fill the soul with heavenly dew, with a mourning full of sweetness. Despise idle talk as the mother of coldness and dryness, † for idle talk drives the tears away from our eyes; that is, it takes them away from us and our soul withers.
† The Elder is using the words “coldness” and “dryness” in their metaphorical sense, of course, in reference to the soul’s lack of fervor and spiritual “moisture” that is necessary for the seeds of virtue to grow.
From the book
Councels from the Holy mountain
Selected from the letters and homilies of Elder Efraim of Arizona
Selection of passages from the book by Silviu Podariu
subm. no. 12
paragraphs: 7-12 from pages 212-214