Thursday, March 13, 2008

Taming the Restless Evil


In chapter 3 of the book of James we read:
2 for we all fall short in many respects. If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also.

And again:

7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species,

8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God.

10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers.

No one is perfect but we can all try for a higher standard in our words. We are encouraged in paragraph 2475 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
“Christ's disciples have ‘put on the new man, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.’ By ‘putting away falsehood,’ they are to ‘put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander.”

Sins of the tongue are considered the most difficult, the most pernicious of all the human faults. People decry war and criticize killing other people; yet in the next breath they gossip, slander, detract, use sarcasm... this is violence too as it "kills" the reputation of the speaker and the one whom the speaker attacks. It kills all charity and compassion. It kills the spirit of Christian Community.

"For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor." St. John Chrysostom

Today is the day I shall be prepping my garden for the planting. While I dig the weeds and pull up the old plants, I like to meditate on my own faults and try to dig them up, roots and all. While planting I like to pray for the grace to plant new habits of the new person that I am to become in Christ; and so I also think of ways to avoid those faults of my past.

That's me away, then.

1 comment:

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Yes, I would say controling the tongue is a very hard task at times. I try very hard not to say hurtful things or gossip. I don't like idle gossip! Thank you for the little reminder to mind our words!


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