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... 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.
AMEN Gus!! If anything, I think you may have been a bit conservative with your estimate! 😂
A couple of things come to mind. I have borrowed a mantra (and have been working at integrating it into ALL my decisions) from a young man who had gotten into trouble with the police. He expressed that one of his “friends” had what he “thought was a good idea at the time, but…”
He created a mantra: “Think twice!” Now, before impulsively joining with some behavior that could cause him problems, he thinks twice. He shared with me that he has been amazed at how many times “it doesn’t sound like such a great idea” the second time around!
The more I keep my big mouth shut, the better things seem to go. I don’t know what I look like, but my bride sees something that prompts her to ask “What didn’t I do now?” when I was about to share an observation/suggestion/opinion – and opted, after thinking twice, to zip it!
Have a blessed day!