The Lord teaches us that it’s not what enters the body that makes a person impure, but what comes out from it that determines purity. What we see, hear, and experience influences our heart, and from this influence, we decide to act rightly or wrongly. These choices mold our heart, manifesting in our words.
Isn’t it interesting how, after just a short conversation with someone, you can get a sense of their character? This happens because what’s hidden within manifests through their speech. Our tongue, therefore, plays a pivotal role in our purity. A pure heart will lead to pure speech, and vice versa.
Throughout the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation, the holiness of our speech is stressed upon. I used to ponder about the unique emphasis on the tongue when we have so many other organs. While sexual sins are grievous, many of the most harmful sins stem from our words, making the tongue a primary source of spiritual impurity.
Maintaining the sanctity of our tongue helps us control our entire being, which is why God asks us to prioritize its holiness.
Consider God’s “spiritual tongue”: Creation came into being through God’s spoken word. This divine speech not only brought forth creation but continues to sustain it.
In the sacraments, the power of the tongue is again evident. For instance, in baptism, the spoken words of the priest are critical. The sacrament would be invalid if the priest merely performed the actions without the accompanying words. This underscores the tongue’s essential role in our spiritual journey, especially in worship.
Psalm 107:20 states, “He sent out His word and healed them, and delivered them from destruction.” God’s word heals. The consecration during the Holy Mass and the absolution in the Sacrament of Reconciliation occur through spoken words, emphasizing the tongue’s power in the spiritual realm.
God urges us to exercise caution with our speech, ensuring it remains holy and does not perpetuate or encourage sin.
Consider Psalm 39:1, where the Psalmist speaks of guarding his ways to prevent sinning with his tongue. He recognizes the propensity to sin with our speech, especially when surrounded by negativity or wickedness. If living with someone who leans towards wrongdoing, the need to guard our tongue becomes even more paramount. This is because their presence might provoke us to sin in speech. Given the essential role of our tongue in spiritual practices, we must ensure its sanctity, especially when in unholy environments.
For instance, during the Holy Mass, though the priest leads the consecration, our participation through our “Amen” is equally vital. Our personal prayers and reading of scriptures also involve our tongue. Thus, ensuring its purity is crucial. Failure to do so distances us from God’s grace, as Psalm 39:11 warns.
In conclusion, if we wish to draw closer to God, we must be wary of our words, ensuring that they reflect the purity of our hearts and align with God’s teachings.
Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
The tongue holds great power. By controlling our speech, we can also influence other aspects of our life. In today’s society, where gossip is rampant, maintaining control over one’s words is vital for personal growth.
James 3:2 says, “For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is mature, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle.” Rather than refraining from speech, we should focus on uttering positive and encouraging words, avoiding careless or negative remarks.
The power of spoken words is immense. Negative comments or offhand predictions can create unintended consequences. Matthew 12:36-37 warns that we’ll be held accountable for every word we utter.
Parents should especially be cautious. Negative words or curses spoken in anger can unintentionally impact a child’s future. It is vital for parents to recognize past mistakes and seek forgiveness to ensure the well-being of their children and themselves.
1 Peter 3:9-10 advises not to retaliate but to respond with blessings. We must break the cycle of negativity by sharing blessings. As Jesus forgave those who wronged Him, we too should forgive and bless those who hurt us.
Our society has introduced traditions and habits that weren’t present before, like substance abuse or disregarding the sacrament of marriage. As Christians, we are called to break such chains and promote blessings instead. 1 Peter 3:10 assures us that those who maintain a holy tongue and avoid negative speech will experience good days.
For blessings, healing, and happiness in life, it’s essential to remain righteous in our speech. 1 Peter 3:12 suggests that those who indulge in harmful speech, gossip, or accusations might not receive the Lord’s attention in their prayers. Hence, to experience a life full of joy, we must keep our speech pure and devoid of deceit.
In conclusion, the state of our lives can often reflect our speech habits. By promoting positive words and reducing negativity, we can influence our life’s trajectory and the lives of those around us.
A Person’s True Nature Revealed Through Speech
Many display piety in public but at home, their words betray their true nature. Regardless of the setting, one’s words should reflect true spirituality.
James 1:26 states: Those who believe they’re religious but don’t control their tongue are deceiving themselves, and their religion is useless.
I recall a devoted parishioner who’d visit homes to pray. Everyone admired her spirituality but dreaded her tendency to gossip. James 1:26 reminds us that a life of prayer is meaningless if marred by such actions.
We accumulate spiritual graces, but careless words can drain them. Just as a tank leaks from a hole, our reservoir of grace is depleted by our uncontrolled speech. Some, after receiving grace through sacraments or prayer, quickly lose it because of gossip, slander, or negativity.
Ephesians 4:29-30 advises us to speak only uplifting words. Speaking ill grieves the Holy Spirit, our internal guide. When grieved, this Spirit, which should help us, becomes our adversary, as seen in Isaiah 63:10.
Words have power. Proverbs 13:2-3 emphasizes that good words bring blessings, while harmful words bring trouble. Psalm 101:7 warns against deceitful speech, emphasizing that dishonesty keeps one from God’s presence.
Despite attending numerous prayers or retreats, if we don’t control our tongue, we distance ourselves from God. We must self-reflect and seek forgiveness for our misgivings in speech.