The tongue is an easy tool for the devil and therefore must be guarded with great diligence…

Psalm 69:12 I am the subject of gossip for those who sit in the gate; and the drunkards make songs about me.

“My children, guard your tongues well. Now, more than ever, is it important to measure your words and take every thought captive to Christ. Be deliberate in your speech. Let grace be on your lips. Do not let evil talk or flippant speech issue from your mouth. The tongue is an easy tool for the devil and therefore must be guarded with great diligence. It is far better not to speak than it is to speak rashly or thoughtlessly. Let silence be your prayer and do not rush to fill every silence. Say only what is needed to build others up, taking care not to flatter. Speak with sincerity, honesty, and kindness. If you cannot manage this, it is best to remain silent. There are times when a rebuke is needed, but let it be as gentle as it is honest, measured and weighed to fit the situation. There is much silence in Scripture. Study the silence and you will be given many graces.”

O my Jesus, you were silent before your accusers. Help me to set a guard over my tongue, and to be measured and deliberate in my speech. Hold me in the glorious silence of your embrace—a place of immense majesty where words fail. Jesus I love you! Set a guard over my mouth, that I will speak only and always in the Divine Will. Amen.

 

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17 thoughts on “The tongue is an easy tool for the devil and therefore must be guarded with great diligence…

  1. Perfect timing for this reflection. Thank you! I am constantly struggling with this in my work place. Criticism appears to be part of most conversations among my colleagues and me. Our boss it difficult to deal with but I think he tries to do the right thing.

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  2. God bless you Peli, what a beautiful start to another year under the guidance of Holy Spirit.

    Come Lord Jesus come again soon. Amen

    Merciful Jesus, I trust in Thee.

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  3. This message is very timely and appropriate, coming right after Pentecost. With everything raging against our Lord now, and by extension against His disciples, it is time to remain strong and silent.

    St. Joseph pray for us!

    FD57

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  4. While this message does indeed make one ponder and pray for the grace of discernment and the ability to speak only the words from the Holy Spirit, I have to say silence also has been used to allow sin to infest in the world today as well. It is funny, the day I read this, I also got an email sent to me with a quote from St. Catherine of Siena, “We’ve had enough exhortations to be silent! Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that the world is rotten because of silence”.
    So many today do not see the wrong in abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia, cohabitation etc. but the silence from the pulpits as well as from parents to their children is a great part of the problem. We all will be accountable for the words we speak, but we will be just as accountable for the times we were silent because we didn’t want to be uncomfortable. I do pray for an infusion of The Holy Spirit to let us know when to speak and when not to speak and to place His Words in us, because it is indeed a very difficult balance and not always easy for each of us to know. Come Holy Spirit!

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    1. Those are strong words from St. Catherine! Certainly the silence that allows sin to fester is the wrong kind and certainly not the kind our Lord was referring to here. This is referring to the silence that is an antidote to rash and flippant speech. There is too much “chatter” in the world. We need more contemplation. Less impulsiveness and more deliberation. Thinking twice before speaking instead of speaking twice before thinking.

      There are issues that require that we speak out. But let us measure our words carefully, and say only what will make a real difference, not just what will make us feel good. Chewing somebody out who does not agree with us usually pushes them farther down the wrong path. A measured response invites discussion based on reason. There is too much emotion in speech these days and not enough reason. Sincerity, honesty, and kindness are the marks of the Spirit.

      There is a time to be silent, as Our Lord was before his accusers. When our words will fall on deaf ears, what is the point? If hearts are closed, our prayers will accomplish far more than our words. Sometimes God requests our silence, even when every fibre of our being wants to shout. Prayer and discernment. We are living in perilous times. May the Holy Spirit be in our hearts and on our tongues! May we hold every thought captive to Christ.

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  5. Indeed, this is a very good reminder for when we should speak the Word of God and also for when we should not and be silent. However, we should always be ready to defend the Truth when the right moment arises. I have just finished reading some inspirational messages and one of them says that in the world right now, there is a ”flood of deception”. We are surrounded by LIES and more LIES. So, what we truly need is the gift of discernment. Let us pray and ask the Holy Spirit for this gift continuously every day. For, it seems to me, that we may be easily fooled by our adversary (SATAN) in believing otherwise.Even the magisterium, our Church, through it’s priests, bishops and cardinals, is vulnerable to this. We must pray for Pope Francis especially so that he doesn’t fall under the influence of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI also asked that we pray for him when he was pope. Jesus Himself reminds us the Gospel:Mark 8:38:” If anyone is ashamed of Me in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” But, after saying all of this, yes I do agree with you just the same Peli, because, with the gift of discernment, we should be able to witness to others at the right moment, and choose not to witness at the wrong moment. DISCERNMENT IS ESSENTIAL NOWADAYS!! Giovanni.

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    1. So true Giovanni. We are walking on a razor’s edge! I appreciate this discussion because it has helped me to see that perhaps the time we are currently in is mirroring the time when Jesus refused to speak before his accusers. We must discern carefully and ask Our Mama to take our will away and give us the Divine Will. Otherwise we could be doing great damage to the kingdom all the while thinking we are doing good. Razor’s edge.

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  6. I would also highly recommend the 31 day study called “The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will”. The study is meant for the month of May. However, it would be edifying, and I would say important, at any time. I am just completing it after it was recommended to me by Anthony Mullen (https://divineantidote.wordpress.com/). It really illustrates the damage living in our own wills does to us and to the whole world. O Holy Mama–help us with your Flame of Love grace!

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  7. Thanks for the recommendations for the study- I think I need that one! It is a fine line to know when to speak and when not to speak. I believe we are in a time where what we have to say will make little difference to those dug in to the ways of this world- I find this with the young people I love including my own kids. But what we do and how we love is so important. This society cannot go on like this and I believe the Jubilee Year of Mercy is about how we as The Church pick up the pieces because we know, or at least I do from my own life, that there are many walking wounded out there even if they don’t see it. I also believe this is why the Flame of Love Devotion is so important because it is our prayers that will blind Satan so that souls can respond to the Grace of God. Prayer may not seem like a lot to do but it is what Our Lord and Our Lady are asking for this day and time.

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  8. You know the Good Lord has been working on me with this…He wants me to listen more these days and speak less. I’m not the best student though, but He’s very Patient with me. Even today in conversation I was about to say something and the HOLY SPIRIT prompted me not to…and I still said it not knowing the repercussions…alas what a disciple I am 🙂 but I still very much Trust the Lord to discipline me in this gift of silence and a still tongue.

    I think my Trust in Him outweighs my trust in my shortcomings :-). So I’m still here with you my friends, just a bit quieter. Always Trust more in GOD’S Saving Grace than in our sinfulness!!!

    Love and God bless us all,
    aj

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    1. AJ I know exactly what you mean. I get the twinge from the Holy Spirit, or an outright interruption, and yet I say it anyway. Mea culpa! Well, recognizing the twinge is a beginning. As St. Francis said at the end of his life, “Let us begin again, for up to now we have done nothing.” Amen!

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  9. To use a trite phrase, I can relate! To AJ, to Val, to all here. Peli I think you’re advice to pray and remain in a recollected silence is spot on–but so hard to do. I know myself I used to be quite bold in speaking out to friends, to strangers, to anyone about Jesus and what he had done in my life. But in the last several years I seem to have a stop on my tongue a lot of the time. I used to accuse myself of cowardice but then in prayer, and in spiritual direction, I began to realize that perhaps speaking was not always wise. So I began to try to wait on the Holy Spirit. And it’s amazing to me because sometimes I’ll speak right out, without even worrying and words come. But other times (and more often than not) I stay silent. It’s a difficult tension between thinking I might be taking the easy way out by staying silent or thinking if I have nothing to say I’d better not try to say it. Especially with my family members. A priest on a retreat a few years ago, a contemplative older priest, told me that he is of the opinion that perhaps the time for words has passed. Now it’s prayer, prayer prayer. He said the important thing is not to lose our peace.

    I do think we live in an age of idle chatter and brutal criticisms of everyone. I keep thinking of the line from one of the psalms about staying away from “the company of the insolent” and that’s what this culture–especially the media–now seem to be. The company of the insolent. I can barely watch anything on TV except EWTN and the occasional classic movie. And someone here mentioned about conversations always being critical. I’ve noticed this. Any “ordinary” conversation these days always ends up dissing someone. Is it worse now or am I just more aware? I told my husband recently that I understand the benefit of vows of silence. I don’t think he got what I was saying but truly, I get it. The tongue is an occasion of sin, certain situations become occasions, the list goes on.

    And the tide of evil is engulfing now–this latest transgender headline is so sad and disturbing. These poor people, these poor afflicted people. God help them and help us.
    Thanks for the St. Francis line, Peli. What wisdom. St. Anthony of Egypt was asked “how often may we begin the good life again?” and he said, “every minute” since we fall every minute. Sigh.

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    1. You are so right about the “brutal criticisms” Anne. Sins of speech has to be one of the most prolific sins of the age! I know it’s one I confess quite often. Mea culpa!

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  10. Me too ! Sins of speech……
    May end by being humbled.
    Sometimes you get cornered, you don’t even know what to say because you are trying to walk on eggshells so as not to open a can of worms, and it is hard for you not to be persuaded to gossip or say something contributing to the conversation when you really want to end it…!! Find myself using “oh” and “hmmmm” , “really?” and “oh my!” You can’t always avoid the insolent ones…..they’re all around ! And you can’t go hide in the closet, we have to be messengers of God’s peace, so
    I pray for them because I know they feel I don’t fit in to their picture of normal. And I also pray for patience, and when I know the rebuttal is futile, I try not to speak. Instead ask Jesus to fix it……
    In a very short time, two or three generations, we have become so different. So much innocence is lost. So much individuality has been lost. Everyone tries to be like the other person because they see it in the media, how to act, what to say. Everyone is chattering using newer and better forms of technology all the time, but saying what ?………..there is hardly any silence. Time gets used up in trivia and a person can’t think, ponder the beauty of life…………….esp true for the youth. We are losing the purpose of communication to banter and fiddling with gadgets. When we don’t have time to think, we don’t prepare well what we say, or we don’t know what to say.
    Yes, I think silence is the best way when we need to stop and think before saying anything. We need silence.
    Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is needed so much because there we can fuel up on things like patience, peace, love, understanding, discernment, kindness and the infinite goodness of God.

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  11. Well said, Ricki. You describe it exactly as it is–the” hmm, and oh? and really?” are my stock phrases. My other tactic is to interject something positive about the person when I can. That doesn’t always go over too well. 😉

    Nonetheless, like Peli said, I confess these sins often. Better than I once was, so that gives me hope, but still not free of it.

    You said it well. It truly is in front of the Blessed Sacrament in adoration that we can “fuel up” on all those wonderful gifts of the Holy Spirit. We need ’em! Now more than ever.

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