Last Word: The Paradise Part

The Right to Be Silent, or Not

“Sit in your cell as in paradise,” begins St. Romuald’s Brief Rule, an eleventh-century text that guides the life of monks in the Camaldolese order. When you’re two miles up a winding road above the cliffs of Big Sur, with waves crashing inaudibly in the mist below, imagining yourself in paradise isn’t hard.

But I suppose it depends on what you mean by paradise. St. Romuald probably didn’t have in mind a sunny, sandy beach with lobster to eat and...

The remainder of this article is only available to paid subscribers.

Print subscribers to Commonweal are entitled to free access to all premium online content. Click here to purchase a print subscription, or if you’re already a print subscriber, register now for premium access.

Online-only subscriptions provide access to all premium online articles for just $34/year or $2.95/month. Click here to subscribe.

Registered users, please log in below:

Or log in with...