The power of words

Words are extremely powerful. Words can built or demolish. Words can encourage or discourage. Words can orient or confuse. Word are not just words. They are magnificent carriers of the spirit they carry when they are told.

Once, in a WhatsApp message I read: Remember your words can burn forests down or plant beautiful gardens. The Word of God, the Bible, is crystal clear about the healing as well as destructive power of words. With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered (Prov 11:9). A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Prov 15:1). He who belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent (Prov 11:12). Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body (Prov 16:24). Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear (Eph 4:29). The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream (Prov 18:4).

Pope Francis wrote a very short introduction to a new book in Italian written by my Capuchin brother Father Emiliano Antenucci, entitled Don’t Speak Ill of Others. In this interesting introduction he wrote: The correct use of words is important. Words can be kisses, caresses, medicine, but they also can be knives, swords or bullets.

Let us pray: Our Lady of Silence, teach us the correct use of our tongues and give us the strength to bless everyone, peace of heart and joy in living. Amen.

Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap