When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear
so do one’s faults when one speaks.
As the test of what the potter molds is in the furnace,
so in tribulation is the test of the just.
The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had;
so too does one’s speech disclose the bent of one’s mind.
Praise no one before he speaks,
for it is then that people are tested.
Speech is a powerful facet of the human person. By speech one can begin to understand the thoughts of the other's heart. "For from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. A good person brings forth good out of a store of goodness, but an evil person brings forth evil out of a store of evil." Luke 6:45 Our Lord preaches much about the importance of our words and the consequence of the ones we choose, "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36 Saint Faustina had written in her diary that silence bears witness to a holy soul. To control one's tongue and know when to speak, and when to remain silent testifies to a well-governed soul.
"No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear." Ephesians 4:29
To hear people use foul language, especially women, is very unsettling and causes all those who hear them to immediately become uncomfortable. It is offensive to God and the consequence of evil words are evil actions. To use swear words as a part of one's vocabulary is sinful and an awful habit. It is an awful habit that can be broken and must be broken. To aspire after holiness, it is only necessary that one should speak words of truth, goodness and sincerity. Anything apart from this, leads the soul astray and towards darkness.
"What we say and how we say it reveals the true intentions of our hearts. The content and manner of our speech is a window into the recesses of our souls."*
Our lives have one mission. It is a simple mission, but a great mission and one that demands our whole selves and the entirety of our lives. It is this: to Love God and to love our neighbor. How do we love God? We love Him by following His commandments. In consequence of our love for God, we have love for our neighbor. It is a natural consequence. Simply put, if we do not love our neighbor then we do not love God and vice versa. Jesus taught His disciples that by the fruit that a person bears in their lives, you'd be able to see who is of the light and who is of the darkness.
"By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them." Matthew 7:16
What are these fruits that Our Lord speaks about? It is the fruit of our actions, our words and all that we do. If the actions we do are good, if the words we speak are truth and light and if all that we do bears witness to the holiness within us, then it is clear that Jesus is living His life within our souls and we are in fellowship with God. However, if our actions our evil and destructive, if the words we speak are filled with cursing and deceit and if all that we do bears witness to the evil within us, then it is clear that we are not living in fellowship with Jesus and the fruit in our lives will bear witness to that.
Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Proverb 154
If we are commanded to love God and to love our neighbor, then every word we speak must come from a merciful heart. A heart that bears the faults of others, admonishes in love and seeks only the good of their brother or sister. It's truly a great sadness to hear people speaking poorly of their brothers and sisters. “So speak and so act as people who will be judged by the law of freedom. For the judgment is merciless to one who has not shown mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12
If souls truly understood that we're always in the presence of God, Who listens to every word that is uttered from our lips, then people would be conscientious of what they say. There are times when we fail in our love for God, and the words we speak fail to reflect the holiness of the Divine Guest living within our souls, it is then that we must prostrate ourselves before the Feet of Jesus and ask His pardon. We must ask with a humble and sincere heart for the gift of wisdom, that we may only speak words of goodness.
For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
During this Lenten season, may we strive to console the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus by our holy speech. May we humble ourselves before God Almighty, ask His pardon for our faults and failings and humbly implore Him to "Set a guard, LORD, before my mouth, keep watch over the door of my lips." Psalm 141
Corpus Christi 8th Sunday in Ordiniary Time Reflection - LPI