The "Divine Mercy Chaplet for the Sick and the Dying" pamphlet provides a simple prayer program for use during Adoration, including suggested prayers and the Litany of Reparation, ... Read more
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It's best that we watch how we use our words.
Words Can Hurt
Even When Angry at Someone, Don't Throw the Book at Them
In His day, Jesus understood that many thought the commandment "Thou Shall Not Kill" meant only the physical taking of a person's life. So He explained the attitude of hatred, and that angry words and an unbridled tongue can also lead to another type of murder.
Granted, they may not kill the person physically, but they can do great harm.
Remember the saying, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me?" I remember in elementary school being asked if this were a true statement, and I said yes because words could never hurt like sticks and stones. However, as I grow older I see that it is the painful words — the statements spewed forth by an angry tongue — that can cause the most pain.
"Thou shall not kill." Yes, the example of Cain killing Abel is an example of the murder of the body that happened then and is still happening today. But what of the type of murder that many engage in — the kind employed by those with unresolved anger? They would never resort to guns or knives. No, they use murderous attitudes and prejudices. Their condescending eyes and hateful glances could kill anyone. Jesus warned us about harboring hate and anger.
But there is an even more disturbing type of murder that people employ — even good Christians. It is a so-called type of religious murder. Their weapons are avoidance and apathy. They kill by withholding love and affection. Let me give you an example.
Some time ago, a friend said to me, "It is too bad Aunt Jane is going to her deathbed hating her mother!" I knew Jane, and I was shocked at what he was saying. I always saw her as a happily married, elderly woman who attended daily Mass. She loved her Faith and did not seem to be a person full of anger and revenge.
My friend told me that when Jane was engaged nearly 50 years earlier, her mother made a comment that she should marry someone like her sister's husband, an attorney. After all, Joe was just a common baker and would never be wealthy. This angered Jane so much that she never spoke to her mother again! And when her mother died, the sister and brother-in-law made sure that Jane did not get any inheritance money. This caused a rift between Jane and her sister, and the two did not speak again, even though they lived in the same city. And, yet, carrying all that anger for all those years, Jane was attending Mass and receiving Holy Communion daily.
I sometimes wonder, how many more graces would she have received if she had only forgiven her mother and sister, and sought reconciliation?
Reflect today on whether or not you have been misunderstood and are harboring anger about it. And look inside yourself and meditate if there are instances where your harsh words may have wounded someone you love. Lastly, ask Jesus, The Divine Mercy, to replace your anger and hatred with love. Your openness to dealing with your anger may open the door to your healing and a relationship with a loved one that you desperately desire.
Dr. Bryan Thatcher is the founder of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM), an apostolate of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.