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Be Slow to Speak
Saint Thomas Aquinas once gave this advice to a spiritual mentee: “Be slow to speak.”
Often, we simply don’t think about what we’re saying. If you’ve ever had to give up cursing, you’ve experienced this firsthand. Things just slip out...sometimes unnoticed.
In regards to sin, we tend to be more aware of our thoughts and actions. We’re always with our own thoughts, and sinful ones, whether about lust, or pride, or anger, are the worst because they directly affect our mood and consequently our actions. But, our words can sometimes fly under our radar because it’s the person we’re talking to that is affected, not us. Thinking before we speak forces us to consider others’ feelings.
When we do start consciously thinking about what we are saying — and how we are saying it — we communicate better.
Take this as a challenge for the next few days. Be slow to speak.
Ask yourself: Is this what I meant to say? Am I speaking truthfully, charitably?