Fr. Ed Broom: Taming the Tongue: 10 Fatal Abuses of Speech

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By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV, Catholic Exchange, October 22, 2019

Saint James warns us that we should be slow to speak and quick to listen. The Imitation of Christ asserts that few have ever regretted refraining from speaking. On the other hand, many regret having opened their mouths when they should have kept them shut. Still more, Jesus warns us that every word that comes forth from our mouth we will be judged; and Jesus says: “From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Finally, St. Bonaventure asserts that we should open our mouths in three occasions: to praise God, to accuse ourselves and finally, to edify others. Hopefully this will be our criteria for speaking! The primary purpose for this gift of speech that God has given to the human person is to communicate the truth with love.

We would then like to briefly go over the ten fatal flaws that result from improper speech. In each instance, our goal is to find the preventive medicine rather than curative. The reason being is that once a word has been issued forth from the mouth, it cannot be retrieved. Much like when a rock is launched in the direction of a window pane, it cannot be returned to the hand but it instead goes out and shatters the glass in nearly an instant. So when it comes to taming the tongue, it is far better to prevent the stones of our words then to try to repair the damage. ….