I showed someone my angry unfinished post, and they mentioned that no one reads the angry ones. This got me thinking about my approach.
Frankly speaking, I’ve fallen victim to pride, ironically in the month of June. You see, I get validation from readers, either reading and or commenting, and that feedback spurs more posts because oh clearly Reader-land likes what I am writing! The problem with that is when there’s no feedback or views, I get down on myself, and even get angry, why don’t people want to read what I say?!? I sound like a liberal marxist, don’t I?!?
So I tried to take a break, I even thought about quitting, because that kind of dependency is unhealthy. It’s not from God. I have to think about the fact that I am one voice, in the wind, speaking opinions that are no more valid than anyone else’s.
So I retreated, and ironically enough, found a gem from an online group. It’s called the international fellowship of St Bruno, and it is the closest thing to a secular or third order Carthusian you will find. It’s ironic because they teach Quies, or stillness, but try to apply it in this crazy world.
And what a gem, from the Saint of today, St. Anthony of Padua!
A sermon by St Antony of Padua
Actions speak louder than words
The man who is filled with the Holy Spirit speaks in different languages. These different languages are different ways of witnessing to Christ, such as humility, poverty, patience and obedience; we speak in those languages when we reveal in ourselves these virtues to others. Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak. We are full of words but empty of actions, and therefore are cursed by the Lord, since he himself cursed the fig tree when he found no fruit but only leaves. Gregory says: “A law is laid upon the preacher to practise what he preaches.” It is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge of the law if he undermines its teaching by his actions.
But the apostles spoke as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech. Happy the man whose words issue from the Holy Spirit and not from himself! For some men speak as their own character dictates, but steal the words of others and present them as their own and claim the credit for them. The Lord refers to such men and others like them in Jeremiah: So, then, I have a quarrel with the prophets that steal my words from each other. I have a quarrel with the prophets, says the Lord, who have only to move their tongues to utter oracles. I have a quarrel with the prophets who make prophecies out of lying dreams, who recount them and lead my people astray with their lies and their pretensions. I certainly never sent them or commissioned them, and they serve no good purpose for this people, says the Lord.
We should speak, then, as the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of speech. Our humble and sincere request to the Spirit for ourselves should be that we may bring the day of Pentecost to fulfilment, insofar as he infuses us with his grace, by using our bodily senses in a perfect manner and by keeping the commandments. Likewise we shall request that we may be filled with a keen sense of sorrow and with fiery tongues for confessing the faith, so that our deserved reward may be to stand in the blazing splendour of the saints and to look upon the triune God.
This is not a treatise on keeping silent, nor to loudmouth blast our verbal diarrhea at will. It’s to open our hearts to speak the Truth and to live it. And to speak as the Holy Spirit guides us. And to not have validation from the number of views or responses, twitter followers or Facebook likes. If your message is holy, it will reach to whom God wants it to.
What does this mean for the blog? I’m going to try and write with positivity and not be motivated by anger. It also means saying things that might offend, but I have to say them in charity. And it means I have to keep myself in check more.
St Anthony, patron of lost things and Doctor of the church, helped me find my better calling, to keep my mouth shut when angry.
2 thoughts on “it was that moment when he knew…”
Oh, what wisdom. Good that you did not share your angry “unholy” post, and overcame that temptation, if it wasn’t just anger. As a mom of two teenage boys, I read out loud to them your “What Would I Tell My Sons” post. And read it to their friends, too. You nailed it. Hope that one goes viral. I know it was shared a bunch on FB. Your writing is a wonderful legacy for your family and community. Keep it up as long as you can. The world is dark and you bring light. God bless.
I kind of like it when you’re angry. It reminds me of all the times at the office when you would rant and rave in the office about some inane Department of Defense policy. Your rages are always born from conviction.