A Lesson to Learn

20 Apr

Good morning,

This week begins the discipline of Solitude.  I think solitude really begins with controlling our minds, but maybe that’s just because I have a hard time controlling my tongue.  C. S. Lewis said that what slips out our mouth when we are most under pressure and do not have time (or take time) to think is what is really inside of us.   I think of a frustrating experience with Medicare the other week and think I must have some unresolved anger somewhere inside me.  I think that contolling my tongue will be a lifetime quest.

Sunday:  The freedom to control the tongue                    James 3:1-12

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.

How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

Luke 23:6-9

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer.

Silence is a gift.  To be silent in the midst of accusations is a difficult thing.  I remember a wonderful passage from Brother Lawrence in “Practicing the Presence of God”.  In the monastery a lot of nasty rumors where going around about him.  He was washing the dishing and looking out of the wash begin whipped by the wind on the line.  God spoke to him saying, “Just as those clothes are being whipped around so is your reputation, but I will protect and defend you.”  Imagine, thinking that it is God who is protecting our good name.  Then we don’t have to say to word.  What a liberation!



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