As covered in last week’s blog, when we gossip, detract, slander or calumniate we do damage to our self and others. With all sins of the mouth, the “bell cannot be unrung,” the damage is done. Far better to be silent than to do the devil’s work.
A few other sins of the mouth are important to mention. Meant to speak of love and praise God, the tongue, through vulgarity, curses and blasphemy can do just the opposite.
When we use vulgarity or tell off-color, racist or inappropriate jokes we put out a welcome mat for the evil one. When we issue curses instead of speaking blessings, we do the devil’s work. When we blaspheme we endanger our immortal soul.
Here is a brief look at these sins.
Vulgarity is a misuse of the gift of language. Crude, coarse and obscene language is fertile soil for Satan’s poisonous seeds. When combined with the taking of the Lord’s name in vain, it becomes doubly serious. It grates on the ears as it dims the light of the soul. Vulgarity’s greatest harm is not necessarily the words themselves; rather it is the doorway that is propped open by the use of vile language. Many other sins feel at home where vulgarity is spoken.
Filthy talk makes us feel comfortable with filthy action. But the one who knows how to control the tongue is prepared to resist the attacks of lust.
Saint Clement of Alexandria
Curses, the calling down of evil upon a person, are a grave evil and a misuse of the gift of speech. They are not harmless and they are not imaginary. Curses are real, they are malevolent and they are a mortal sin. Mortal sin blocks the path to God and opens the door to Satan. Curses should never be uttered by you, but don’t be surprised if they are uttered against you by those who are under Satan’s influence. If they are uttered against you, an ongoing, fervent prayer life and a grace-filled soul is your best protection.
The evil words of which we are speaking now are those whereby evil is uttered against someone by way of command or desire. Now to wish evil to another man, or to conduce to that evil by commanding it, is, of its very nature, contrary to charity whereby we love our neighbor by desiring his good. Consequently it is a mortal sin.
Saint Thomas Aquinas
Blasphemy is expressing contempt, dishonor or irreverence toward God, either directly or indirectly. It may be a thought, word or action; though, its most frequent manifestation is spoken. Whether it is spoken as a false oath, a swear word attached to God’s name or the use of God’s name as an interjectory phrase, it is a sin against the second commandment. In some sense, blaspheming is the same as making a public proclamation against God, denouncing Him and His works.
If the sin of blasphemy is rampant in your home, it will surely perish.
Saint John Vianney
The need to gossip, detract, slander, calumniate use vulgarity, curse or blaspheme often stems from a wound inside of you. Envy is the usual culprit. You feel you can build yourself up by tearing others down. Satan is happy to continually remind you of your wound inside if you will continually respond to his prodding by attacking others, committing sin or giving in to despair.
The envious man invents all sorts of wickedness; he has recourse to evil speaking, to calumny, to cunning, in order to blacken his neighbor; he repeats what he knows, and what he does not know he invents, he exaggerates. Through the envy of the devil, death entered into the world; and also through envy we kill our neighbor; by dint of malice, of falsehood, we make him lose his reputation, his place. Let us, then, be good Christians and we shall no more envy the good fortune of our neighbor; we shall never speak evil of him; we shall enjoy a sweet peace; our soul will be calm; we shall find paradise on earth.
Saint John Vianney
Jesus is the Word. His every utterance gave glory and honor to God. When we speak in truth and love we give glory and honor to God. We should always speak in a manner that honors the second commandment.