Life - Giving Words
"Let no evil speech come from your mouth but nothing other than good speech to build people up in case of need in order that it may give grace to those who hear."(Ephesians 4:29)
"To be human is to be called by the God who summons us to come to him and that is the foundation of our hope and, in this people with disabilities are perhaps some of our greatest apostles.
But there is another element. God calls to us and he summons us to be with his powerful creative life-giving word. He says "Timothy" and Timothy exists... And we are made in the image and likeness of God, which means that every single one of us has the vocation to speak life-giving words to other people. That is one of the ways we are God-like, made in God's image.
We spend a lot of our day talking, gossiping, joking, listening to the news, making conversation. And all the time we are making the most important moral choice about whether we speak a mean, subverting, gossipy, negative word that destroys people. That's the most important moral choice we usually make each day. For some reason people seem to think that morality is basically about sex. It isn't. What morality is about is whether we are partners with God in granting words that give life to other people. Whether we give words that sustain and encourage, that beckon people on....
One of the ways that evil appears in our world is through destructive words. During the Rwandan genocide, we could see written all over the walls words like, "Kill the cockroaches" or in Zimbabwe I remember President Mugabe had a campaign called Mooranbatsvia, Clean up the rubbish. In other words, the people who he considered to be his opponents.... Now, we don't in our Western society face genocide but our lives are filled with negative contemptuous words that trash other people. Journalists, politicians, football supporters, sometimes even religious leaders speak words that hurt, hurt the poor, hurt people with disabilities, immigrants, gay people that are burnt by corrosive words...
So the primary role I think of the Church is to speak words that lift people up, let them breathe. Let me quote a friend of mine, Nick King's beautiful translation of Ephesians 4, 29. "Let no evil speech come from your mouth but nothing other than good speech to build people up in case of need in order that it may give grace to those who hear."
We're called to speak words of grace and life. And very often in my experience, it's precisely the people who've suffered, the people who have endured great pain, who speak the strongest words of life."
Timothy Radcliffe OP
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15th January 2019 Balance is All
19th November 2018 The human hunger for beauty
9th October 2018 Shifting Perspectives
19th June 2018 Thank God I was wrong
16th May 2018 "Today is a new dawn, new, clean and fresh - and so are you, my dear! Don't worry. All is well."
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7th March 2018 The Gift of Tears
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14th December 2017 Do You See This Woman?
17th October 2017 We Are All One with You
7th September 2017 Gaps
20th June 2017 "Love is not loved."
25th April 2017 I Hope You Dance
21st March 2017 From Darkness to Dawn
27th October 2016 The Bright Field
27th June 2016 The Enemy Within
31st May 2016 The Little Way to The Almighty
25th January 2016 Love Immeasurable
11th November 2015 Letting Go
21st May 2015 The Gift of Loss
6th May 2015 Walls
24th November 2014 Leaning into Winter
24th October 2014 Crossing the Road
25th June 2014 Fetters of the Soul
30th April 2014 The Power of Gratitude
10th March 2014 The Darkling Thrush
11th February 2014 Spring
10th February 2014 Masks
3rd February 2014 Dancing in the Wind
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13th January 2014 Forgiving wrongs darker than death or night
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25th November 2013 Missing Dates
18th November 2013 NEARER GOD’S HEART
12th November 2013 Night
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1st June 2009 Be your own role model
25th May 2009 The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord
18th May 2009 Power of the real presence
7th May 2009 "Lessons I did not learn in School" - by Bill Gates
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30th March 2009 The Long Walk to Freedom
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10th November 2008 A Homily for The Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica – 9th November 2008
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27th October 2008 Charles Peguy 1873-1914, French poet and politician
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13th October 2008 Excerpt from ‘A Door of Hope’ by Jean Vanier
6th October 2008 A Reflection on Matthew's Gospel 21:28-32
29th September 2008 The Daily Decalogue of Pope John XXIII