Posted by: liturgicalyear | February 18, 2014

Slow to speak and quick to listen

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



  1. Words to live by….

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