Divine Mercy Minutes with Jesus is a pocket-sized devotional featuring key passages of Jesus' own words to St. Faustina, following themes such as trust, deeds of mercy, and ... Read more
By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Feb 28, 2009)
Readings: Is 58:9-14; Lk 5:27-32
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer ... if you remove ... false accusation and malicious speech. Is 58:9
"Bite your tongue!" How many mothers and fathers have used this short and direct command to correct their children!
Usually the parent has scolded the child for saying something that was inappropriate. A disciplined child may have teased his sister or offered a negative comment about a neighbor. It truly is an amazing privilege to be able to speak. Words are powerful. Yet how easily do we take this gift for granted?
Our Lord addresses curbing the tongue at two points in the first reading: "... if you remove ... false accusation and malicious speech" (Is 58:9) and "... if you honor it by not following your ways, seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice" (Is 58: 13). Clearly, using the gift of speech with discipline and love is of utmost priority for the Word made flesh. He has spoken, and it's up to us to follow.
Nearly everyone has been harmed by the words of a friend, loved one, or stranger. We all, to varying degrees, have experienced the negative impact of hurtful words. Likewise, we have all probably experienced the life-giving fruits of loving words, which are better to us than gold.
Throughout the day, let's take the time to examine how we use the gift of speech with our family and friends. We can ask the Lord to remind us of the instances when it clearly would have been better if we just simply "bit our tongue."
Saint Faustina wrote in her Diary, "I want my tongue to praise God without cease. The soul will not attain sanctity if it does not keep watch over its tongue"( 92). This holy woman knew that our speech is not to be taken lightly — that we are to choose our words carefully. Let's follow her lead and use our gift of speech to bring glory to God.
Lord Jesus, please help me stay away from all forms of malicious speech. I truly want to use this gift You gave me in ways that bring healing and love to others. Amen.