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"Words Are Holy"

I was reading an article on writing yesterday when I came across a lesson the writer said she learned from writing 750 words a day. It says: "Words are holy."

That struck me.

I wondered what this meant and I read on. The answer given is that when that writer writes, usually at 5:00 in the morning when everything is quiet, she finds herself being "reflective and selective about the words she chooses to represent her ideas, values and thoughts."

She says that because of the time when she writes, she finds herself in the quiet in communion with the Divine. Then the words she writes are holy because they come to her from the Divine.

When we talk of "word," I instinctively think of the Word, the Word that is God: "And the Word was God." When God spoke the Word, He spoke Himself. That is a Divine Person. And that Person is Holy.

In RCIA, prayer meetings and bible study groups there is a standard way of sharing Scripture, the acronym is WORD: Word, Order, Reality, Direction. In such settings, where the sharer reflects on how specific Scripture verses touch him, he naturally thinks of his relationship with the Divine. And the sharing, the words spoken, are words that share in the Divine. That is what makes our words holy.

Our words are supposed to be not carelessly or mindlessly chosen, but selected in the context of the Divine. After all, we are made in the image and likeness of God -- the Divine. So what comes out of our minds, spoken by our mouths and put in written form, have the attributes and character of the the Divine, that is, holiness.

I think that the words we speak and write define us. They give a picture of our mind, our soul, and our heart. They give a clear indication of what our values are, how we react to people, events and things.

We can say or write angry words, loving words, forgiving words, hateful words, soothing words, biting words, healing words, destructive words, killing words. The preponderance of positive versus negative descriptions of our words reflect who we are, our development in virtue, at that particular point in time.

If we value positive things, we value consciously our being made in the image and likeness of God as Scripture itself says. But to achieve this, we must first acknowledge who we truly are, the positive aspects of ourselves, and at the same time also the darker aspects of us as belonging to a fallen humanity that is responsible for our many human limitations.

If after doing this reflection, and our conclusion that the better course of action is to be in accord with what is divine in us, then we will be able to make better choices of words in our thinking, in our speaking, and in our writing.

That is when we can say: "My words are holy." And my words being holy, we have actually responded to the call to be holy -- expressed in the Church document (Lumen Gentium) that we are all called to holiness -- the universal call to holiness, or Christ's mandate to us "to be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect."

What words do we want to speak from here on? Are they words that will reflect the holiness of the Word . . . the Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ Himself?

Are the words we speak those that Christ Himself will praise us for saying? If that is what we want, then we must consciously want to be Christ-like.

If we are Christ-like, people will see Christ in us. And as Christ is the One most worth imitating, our being who we have become, and in the process of becoming, will draw others to Christ.

That is precisely the meaning of evangelization . . . becoming sharers of the Word that we as believers and followers of Christ are called to be.

If our words are holy, they are in the service of the Word, the Most Holy One.#

"Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up the one in need and bringing grace to those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

"But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire." Matthew 5:22

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