Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Tongue

"Don't speak unless you can improve upon the silence"

Daily Mass today brought a reminder of the power of the tongue.  It is coincidentally as I recall from my medical training the strongest muscle in the body. Today's first reading from James describes the dangers of the tongue
James 3:3-10 If we put bits into the mouths of horses that they may obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Look at the ships also; though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is a unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature, and  set afire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by humankind, but no human being can tame the tongue--a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so.

Fr. Sas today recalled a quote he had heard at one of his visits to a monastery, "Don't speak unless you can improve upon the silence".   The ancients recognized that words have a life and they continue living..

Thus how vigilant and careful we must be when we speak.  It is dangerous sometimes when we are afraid of silence and feel the need to let ourselves speak without thinking.  St. Faustina was acutely aware of this.  In her diary she speaks of this:

92 Humiliation is my daily food. I understand that the bride must herself share in everything that is the groom's; and so His cloak of mockery must cover me, too. At those times when I suffer much, I try to remain silent, as I do not trust my tongue which, at such moments, is inclined to talk for itself, while its duty is to help me praise God for all the blessings and gifts which He has given me. When I receive Jesus in Holy Communion, I ask Him fervently to deign to heal my tongue so that I would offend neither God nor neighbor by it. I want my tongue to praise God without cease. Great are the faults committed by the tongue. The soul will not attain sanctity if it does not keep watch over its tongue. 

Lord may we the children's rosary experience  healing of our tongues that we may not offend You or our neighbor and only use our tongue to praise You.  

What a wonderful idea St. Faustina had to pray for this before the Holy Eucharist touches our tongue.  

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