St. Augustine: The Human Tongue Is a Furnace

“The human tongue is a furnace in which the temper of our souls is daily tried.  And in this matter you command us to be continent…You know how I have cried to you from the depths of my heart, how I have wept floods of tears because of this 220px-Fra_angelico_-_conversion_de_saint_augustindifficulty…Purify [my mind and my mouth] of all rash speech and falsehood.”   St. Augustine

“The tongue is also a fire,” wrote St. James. “It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna.”

If a saint sheds tears over his “incontinent” tongue, why haven’t I shed more over mine?

I think I know the answer, but I don’t like it.

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This post is part of a series (see A Lenten Invitation from a Babbling Brook: Focus on Speech and Silence). To receive new installments, you’re invited to place your email address in the Follow Sparrowfare box in the sidebar on the right.  We’d love to have you join us in sharing the quotes that speak to you.  In this contentious time, let’s spread the word about the importance of our words!

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