Chapter 52 On the Oratory of the MonasteryI wonder why this can't apply in parish churches. It's not about being obsessively neurotic and never saying a word in church unless it is a prayer .... but, if you want to chat, why not outside the church? It's not about wanting to be unwelcoming .... but in the church I want to do something else.
Let the oratory be what it is called, a place of prayer; and let nothing else be done there or kept there. When the Work of God is ended, let all go out in perfect silence, and let reverence for God be observed, so that any brother who may wish to pray privately will not be hindered by another's misconduct.
I was recently totally phased - and I do mean totally - by someone who came up to me in church to ask how my week had been. My explanation that "I don't do talking in Church" probably went over more as a put down than as an explanation of why I quite literally couldn't sustain anything vaguely resembling a conversation in the circumstances.
I can't cope!