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 difficulty…Purify [my mind and my mouth] of all rash speech and falsehood.”   St. Augustine

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Here we see the difference between the saint and the rest of us.

Shed tears over an incontinent tongue?  Only when we’re in trouble over it.

“The tongue is 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.”

Many of us know we talk too much, but we don’t know what to do about it.  Here we see the strength of the saint once again.  He understands the gravity of sins of the tongue.  He weeps for the pain he has caused.

He prays for a purified mind and mouth.

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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 posts in your inbox, place your email address in the Follow Sparrowfare box.

In this contentious time, let’s spread the word about the importance of our words!

 

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