There is a practice within the tradition in which someone goes to a holy elder and “asks for a word.” That encounter is, most often, quite terse. It is not a request for an explanation, much less mere speculation. It can, indeed, be no word at all:

Abba Theophilus, the archbishop, came to Scetis one day. The brethren who were assembled said to Abba Pambo, “Say something to the archbishop, so that he may be edified.” The old man said to them, “If he is not edified by my silence, he will not be edified by my speech.”

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