SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Evils of the Tongue

January 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Sin, Theophilus

Why do such vile and useless words pour so easily from my mouth? The infinite beauty of Your works among man and Your creation and redemption should fill me in such a way as to drive me to speak of them always. Why would I think and speak about so much of what is broken when so much has been healed, restored, and made beautiful by You? Why would I spend time talking about the ills of others, of the Church, and of the world when I could spend time participating with You in the cure? Why would I give my tongue to the devil so that he can dip it in the excrement of criticism, negativity, intrigue, and pettiness when I could instead give it to building up the Church, reinforcing the good, to loving others, and to giving You Your just praise? Forgive me – heal me. May my tongue never utter a word unless it is to honor some good thing from You, to build the Kingdom, and to worship You my perfect King.

For we all make many mistakes, and if any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. 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 an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature, and set on fire 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.

St. James Chapter 3

Theophilus

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