Letter of James // Day 8

James 3: 1-12

How to do Lectio Devina:

Sisters, this is really your time with the Lord. This will be a challenge but so fruitful. There will also be a short reflection. Give this a chance and see where the Lord takes you.

There are a couple of different ways to do this but there is one way that I will point out. This is a simple way to pray. A great resource here is your prayer journal.

1: Read the whole Scripture: James 3: 1-12

2: Reflect on it for a short time (3 min or more) and see if any particular verse stands out to you.

3: Read the verse that stood out to you again.

4: Reflect on it and see if a particular word stands out to you (3 min or more)

5: Reflect on the word and see what the Lord is trying to point out to you.

You can go back and read any verses that you stood out to you and just spend a short time in prayer (silence) and listening to what God wants to point out to you. God will show up. He always does.

Short Reflection

I believe the Lord set us up perfectly today to go deeper.

Speech. What we say, says something; whether we mean it or not. Words have meaning.

Words and our speech can be very powerful. Think of Martin Luther King, JR and maybe your mind already went to the speech “I have a dream”. That was powerful! Or think of Moses and his “Let my people go” speech to his brother (Exodus 5:1-3).  These were powerful statements made by people with conviction to provoke powerful change.

Another person also made powerful speeches with conviction to provoke powerful change. That man is Adolf Hitler. He inspired so much hate in one conversation. Another person is Josef Stalin; who also had ideals and convictions that led to many peoples' death.

These are two extremes. I know. But it gets to the point that words have meaning and when we speak, we need to speak with intention and not just say the first thing that comes to our mind.  Why? Because

“…the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire” (James 3:5)

James also says that “No human being can tame the tongue.” (Verse 8) Well doesn't hat defeat our purpose? I mean aren’t we here to try to be the best versions of ourselves in who the Lord has created us to be?

Well, if we re-read a few verses before this one, James also says, “If we put bits into the mouths of horses that they may obey us, we guide their whole bodies.” (Verse 3) No, we're not horses, but let’s keep in mind that God is bigger than us and our sins and our tongues. What is that “bit” in us that guides and brindles our tongue? Some might call it self control, but I would like to think of it as discipline (and the Holy Spirit).

Discipline is not giving into any bodily desire just because we have it. It's self denial. This can be a good thing. Discipline helps every action, including our speech, become intentional. Discipline is hard and not just a bodily thing but it's also mental and spiritual. If we let him, God can guide us to do some amazing things, right? Yes. So, this is not out of God’s jurisdiction. It’s not just us, we need God’s help with perseverance and change. We know it's possible because we have the example of the saints and Our Lady.

Here is where the ‘works’ part comes in with the Faith and works.  This is a part of the change and action we need to do to grow more in love with Christ. The less we have our minds on ourselves, the more we can have our minds and hearts on Christ. Of course we get distracted with our own sinfulness but if we have this discipline, when a temptation comes, it won’t tempt us anymore or as much as it used to. We wouldn’t have to be afraid of saying or doing something we know we shouldn’t. We would have brindled not only the tongue but our whole body.

Today, let us ask God for help in disciplining the areas in our lives where we need it most and to give us the strength to persevere in letting him take control, and not our own temptations. Let us even go a step further in asking God to show us the areas where we need it most and let him guide us to where we need the most change.

Remember sisters, no matter what, you are loved!