In our first reading today, St. James talks about the power of the tongue. Amazing how this one little muscle in our body can cause us so much trouble! Our Gospel today is the scene of the Transfiguration from Mark 9.
St. James talks about how every creature on earth, beasts and birds and everything can be tamed. Then he says “but no man can tame the tongue.” Did this guy know his anatomy, or what?! I’m going to go out on a limb here and spout a statistic that doesn’t exist. I would say that 90% of the trouble in our lives is caused by our tongue. Any arguments? Occasionally something that I do will get me into trouble, but the vast majority of the time it is something I say.
Think of all the different ways our tongues cause trouble for us…anger, ego, insensitivity, ignorance, malice, gossip, lying, ego…wait, did I already say that one? Repetition. Need I go on? You get the picture. I think I have figured out a way to help tame the tongue. Before we speak, what if we took a brief second to pray? To ask God what we should say? Trust me, I haven’t mastered this technique yet. Who knows…could work wonders!
Father, you know how we struggle with our tongues. Forgive us for those times that we use it unwisely, and help us to keep it in check more often. Amen.