09 July 2010

Conversation; and First, How to Speak to God

"Physicians judge to a great extent as to the health or disease of a man by the state of his tongue, and our words are a true test of the state of our soul.  "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned, "The Savior says.  We are apt to apply the hand quickly  to the place where we fell pain, and so too the tongue is quick to point out what we love. 

If you love God heartily, my child, yo will often speak of Him among your relations, household and familiar friends, and that because "the mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment."  Even as the bee touches naught save honey with his tongue, so should your lips be ever sweetened with your God, knowing nothing more pleasant than to praise and bless His Holy Name,--as we are told that when Saint Francis uttere the Name of the Lord, he seemed to feel the sweetness lingering on hislips, and could not let it go.  But always remember, when you speak of God, That He is spirit of meekness, love , and humility; dropping honey from your lips (like the Bride in the Canticles) in devout andpious wrods, as yo speak to one or another around, in your secret heart the while asking God to let this soft heavenly dew sink into their minds as they hearken.  And remember very especially always to fulfill this angelic task meekly and lovingly, not as though you were reproving others, but rather winning them.  It is wonderful how attractive a gentle, pleasant manner is, and how much it wins hearts.

Take care, then, never to speak of God, or those things which concern Him, in a merely formal, conventional manner; but with earnestness and devotion, avoiding the affected way in which some professedly religious people are perpetually interlarding their conversation with pious words and sayings, after a most unseasonable and unthinking manner.  Too often they imagine that they really are themselves as pious as their words, which probably is not the case."

Part III, Chapter 26