Yesterday, the first reading for daily mass moved out of the Old Testament readings about David and Solomon and into the New Testament readings from the book of James. I love the book of James! He’s so pragmatic, and his advice goes straight to the bones.
Today we hear a verse I often repeat to myself:
… be quick to hear, slow to speak (Jas 1:19)
James continues, “Be slow to anger, for anger does not accomplish the righteousness of God.” (Jas 1:20)
Imagine if we followed this advice every time we decided to speak! Wouldn’t our days and deeds be different?
Imagine pausing and thinking before we:
- Scolded our children
- Responded to our spouse
- Joined in with gossip
- Slandered a coworker
- Retorted to a stranger
- Reacted to an insult
Think about those times when you look back and said, “If only I had waited before I said that!” or “Why did I say that?” I don’t know about you, but I’ve had many such a day.
Like Saint Paul, I do the things I don’t want to do, and do the things don’t want to do. (Rm 7:15)
So today, I encourage you to make this verse part of the fabric of your being. Write down James’ advice and tape it up in a place where you will see it. Read it. Repeat it. Memorize it. And live it.
St. James, pray for us! Anne