Friday, September 20, 2013

Words! Words!



'Words are powerful, they are for weal or woe.  They build up or raze to the ground.  They cut to the quick or they soothe and heal.  They inspire courage and loftiness of purpose, or they rouse to anger, bitterness and revenge... Words!  Words!  How powerful you are!  How terrible you are when lodged in an unkind and critical heart! ... If we have not been perfect in this regard, let us begin now to make a record in charity.  It is never too late to work at our perfection, it is never too late to determine to be saints.  Let us seal our lips against cutting remarks, unkind insinuations, unfavourable words.  Many a heart has writhed in pain because of poisoned arrows that pierced to the core.'

(from Sheltering the Divine Outcast, compiled by A Religious, The Peter Reilly Co, Philadelphia, 1952, pp. 24-25)

Painting: Irving R. Wiles, Russian Tea

12 comments:

  1. Nancy,

    You chose a powerful meditation on words to share here with us. I particularly like "they build up or raze to the ground".

    And you always pick such wonderful art to share.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. I love finding art to share, and feel like the proverbial kid in the candy shop as I hunt for treasures!

      Delete
  2. Yes, I agree, the painting is wonderful! We eat our meals dressed like that too! Lol. (Wouldn't want to try and remove stains out of that yardage of satin!) Seriously...Your post is so powerful a reminder of the impact words have good and for us to guard our tongues so we don't hurt and "raze to the ground". Thank you for sharing your gifts for the Lord and all of us out here...God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I ate meals dressed like that I'd be afraid to take a bite! I guess I'd eat standing up, bent forward at the waist over my soup lest I dribble a drop.

      I have seen words wound so powerfully - probably we all have. Even unkind words said behind the back of another can wound, for they affect how the hearer perceives (and perhaps then treats) the person talked about.

      Thank you, and God bless you too!

      Delete
  3. Nancy,

    Wouldn't you love to dress for dinner? Well, maybe not. But I do like the idea of making dinner a special event if only occasionally. It is good to sit together and converse... and be very careful with our words. The dinner table can be a place where we can learn to take turns talking, and show interest in others and not interrupt. Yes, that was a perfect painting to link with your quote!

    Do you know the poem The Arrow and the Song by Longfellow? We never know where our words will land or what effect they will have. I think that was part of what Longfellow was saying! I shall try harder to guard my tongue!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess, for the reason I mentioned above, my selected answer would have to be "well, maybe not." ! I was having lunch with a friend a few days ago, and she kindly alerted me to the fact that I had a bit of gravy on my blouse. Wiping it off expertly (by now I'm an expert in wiping spills), I said "oh, this is not a blouse.. this is my bib." So I suppose my dressing for dinner should become a matter of wearing colors chosen to match the menu! IS THIS OLD AGE SETTING IN?!

      I can't recall that Longfellow poem, so now I'm off to "Google....."

      Thank you, Sue!

      Delete
  4. Oh Nancy, this is a good meditation for confession.....is it not? Wow! A good one to view through the grille....I'm reminded of a poem that many years ago touched me as a Mother of growing children because I grew up in a family with lots of judgementalism and criticalness (negativity) and realized when I was raising my own children just how much that had affected me and how I needed God's help and Grace in changing these attitudes and flaws that had become somewhat of a learned experience. Not a good one. It takes constant attention to watch not to slip into this kind of learned pattern and its great you posted this so we all can watch our words and grow in holiness and change these traits etc. before they continue to affect those around us especially our children and grand children! Here is the poem I was talking about. I'm sure we all know it. I thank the Lord for all the Blessings and Inspirations He wishes to give you to help us all and I just love being a part of this blog and hearing all the wonderful pearls of wisdom from all the other comments from this beautiful souls climbing too, toward our heavenly goal : ) Poem:
    I've tried to cut and paste this poem here, but unfortunately it won't work....ugh. Anyway it's called:
    Children Learn What They Live by Dorothy Law Nolte If a Child lives with Criticism He learns to Condemn.....etc. I will email it to Nancy and/or put it on my FB and maybe Nancy you can post it? Thank You, and God Bless you All ✨

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Barb - and thanks for e-mailing the poem link to me! I am very happy to share that here.

      The link is http://www.blinn.edu/socialscience/LDThomas/Feldman/Handouts/0801hand.htm

      I don't think you can actually click on a link in a comments box (?), but it can be copied and pasted so you can get to it.

      Thank you again, Barb, and I am glad you're here too - very glad!!

      Delete
  5. Wouldn't it be easier to just seal our lips outright! But that is not possible for us--we are called to be social beings. Speech is like food in this regard--we must eat to live, but we are expected to control ourselves. Some virtues require abstention--sometimes in the sexual life, sometimes in regards to alcohol, completely giving up the pleasure is required. It's much harder, I think, to continue the use of a faculty--talking, eating--and moderate the behavior!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jamie, I'd never thought of this - of speech being something we can't do without, like food. A relative of mine went to "Overeaters Anonymous" (structured like AA but for compulsive overeaters). He pointed out the struggle of limiting something one needs. You can't just stop eating altogether (as a person can stop drinking alcolhol). And a person can't just stop talking! Again, I had never thought of this. Thank you!

      Delete
  6. Maybe we should start BA (Blabbermouths Anonymous!) I'll be a charter member!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love it, Jamie! I'm signing right up.....

      Delete