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“As I explore the themes of spiritual light and darkness I have been wondering if we can consider the words we think, speak (hear), or write (read) to be sources of darkness-dispelling light. While we don’t usually associate these concepts, the Scriptures do indeed connect them. Depending on their origin and use, word/thoughts are said to have the power to bring either light or darkness. In Psalm (119:105) we are told that God’s word is a lamp and a light on our path. The Psalmist goes on to say that as these divine words are revealed, they give light and understanding. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). On the day of Pentecost divine light is given to all nations by means of words in their own languages. During the Vespers of Pentecost we proclaim Now the tongues have become apparent, as a sign for all… We who are from the Gentiles have been counted worthy of the divine light, for we were strengthened by the words of the Disciples, who declared the glory of God the benefactor of all.” (Fr. Edward Rommen)

“The Greek word for “darkness” refers to spiritual ignorance and moral corruption…Those who dwell in such darkness shun the light of truth and goodness lest their deeds are exposed (John 3:20; Ephesians 5:13)…Paul warns that the faithful must have nothing to do with the “unfruitful works of darkness” of these wrongdoers (Ephesians 5:11). Rather, they should “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:13).” (Fr. Basil)

“The warning Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you operates on at least two different levels: (1) To the Jewish people in Jerusalem to whom Jesus spoke, the warning was a reminder that there was only a little time left for them to accept Him as their Messiah. (2) To those later individuals to whom the Fourth Gospel was written, and to every person since, the words of Jesus are also a warning: There is a finite, limited time in which each individual has opportunity to respond to the Light of the world (i.e., Jesus); after that comes darkness. One’s response to the Light decisively determines one’s judgment for eternity.” (NET Bible, John 12:35)

“Indeed, there are many words. Words carried by the voices of greed, selfishness, disbelief, anger, and the like. These words and thoughts function as blinders and distract us from the light of God’s words. Depending on their intensity or density they create so much interference (environmental noise) that our attention is drawn away from the words of God and are rendered spiritually deaf. St. Paul warns us not to allow this to happen since our thinking will then become futile, leading to foolishness of heart and spiritual darkness (Rom 1:21). Letting these anti-light words override the words of God blocks our view of the Light mediated by those very words. And so, not hearing and not seeing we are left spiritually deaf and spiritually blind.” (Fr. Edward Rommen)

“Light without source emanates from the “Jerusalem above,” as revealed to Saint John the Evangelist: “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light” (Rev 21:23). Such light informs our iconography, for there is no external source of light nor any shadows in icons. God the Word, who is light, is not Himself created; rather, light is among His energies. As the sun creates the light of the moon by reflection to our physical eyes, so the Son creates light without a source. Where He is, light is.” (Dynamis 3/16/2021)

“James compares the damage the tongue can do to a raging fire...The uncontrolled tongue can do terrible damage…To use proper speech you must not only say the right words at the right time but also control your desire to say what you shouldn’t.” (Life Application Study Bible, James 3:6, James 3:2-3)

“Restraint of the tongue is a great thing…Speech reflects a person’s character…Keeping our mouths shut, even if we know for a fact what someone has done, is the easiest expression of love and compassion." (St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite, Foundation Study Bible, Proverbs 12:18-19, Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

"I don’t always have something good to say. Sometimes I feel bogged down by various self-centered concerns, so the words that come out of my mouth tend to be useless. Occasionally they become even damaging or hurtful to other people…the Lord reminds me of a simple truth: that the problem lies not in my words, but in my heart. I need to look into my heart, and see what it’s been embracing and focusing on." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“To attain such integrity of speech requires restraint infused with a full measure of God’s grace. Godly restraint in speech, or in any other aspect of living, begins deep within the hearts and souls of the faithful in Christ.” (Dynamis 3/18/2017)

“But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give and account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37). Commentary by several Holy Fathers on this passage shows that they took this statement by our Lord literally. That’s kind of scary when you think about it. If you take life expectancy stats, shave off a few years for the years before we learn to talk, take some stat about how many words men and women use a day, it easily nets out to the fact we will use hundreds of millions of words in our life time. That’s a lot of opportunity for idle and hurtful words that condemn us.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“At creation, God endowed mankind with speech. The Lord’s very method of creating involved speech, for He said, “Let there be light; and there was light” (Gn 1:3). Likewise, He blessed us with a capacity to speak: “And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all” (Gn 2:19-20). However, when sin entered the world, speech, like our other faculties, became distorted.” (Dynamis 10/25/2018)

“The messages which assault us through the channels, airwaves, and electronic media of contemporary life appear to be human speech, but in reality they are demonic chatter and lies. When we consider the distortion of truth that passes as communication in the modern world, we understand that we are experiencing a constant assault on our hearts and souls.” (OCPM 10/26/2017)

“If a person remembers the words of Scripture: By your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned (Mt. 12:37), then he will choose to remain silent.” (St. Sarah of Egypt)

“Your words are unequal: some vivify, and others slay your soul, or, perhaps, that of your neighbour. Therefore, it is said: “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt” [Colossians 4:6]. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” [Ephesians 6:29].” (St. John Kronstadt)

“...the sinful nature that inspires evil words is beyond our control. Only the work of the Holy Spirit within us can bring this destructive force under control.” (Foundation Study Bible, James 3:7-8)

“In the twelfth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus Christ offered a statement of a tremendous importance. He said,"I tell you, on the Day of Judgment people will render account of every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37)....Words are not cheap, and language is not an exercise of beating the air with non-substance.” (Archbishop Demetrios of America)

“Words are powerful, and how you use them reflects on your relationship with God. Perhaps nothing so identifies Christians as their ability to control their speech—speaking the truth, refusing to slander, and keeping oaths (promises). Watch out for what you say.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 15:3-4)

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." (Mother Theresa)

"God has surrounded the tongue with a double wall—with the barrier of the teeth and fence of the lips—in order that it may not easily and heedlessly utter words it should not speak." (St. John Chrysostom)

"You will have many opportunities in life to keep your mouth shut: You should take advantage of every one of them." (Thomas Edison)

“Words can be used either as a weapon to destroy other people or a tool to heal and build them up. Sadly, it is often easier to destroy than to build, and most people have received more destructive comments than those that heal and build up. Every person you meet today is either a demolition site or a construction opportunity. Your words will make a difference.” (Life Application Study Bible, Proverbs 11:9)

“A real bone that breaks heals far better than the damage done by hurtful words that metaphorically cut you to the bone. Most of us remember the hurt done by words much, much more than any physical harm.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

"Words are important, because they either benefit those who hear them, or are corrupt and tempt others, perverting their hearts and thoughts; deeds still more so, because examples act more powerfully than anything upon people, inciting them to imitate them. The Lord is so holy, so simple in his holiness, that one single evil or impure thought deprives us of Him, who is the peace and light of our souls." (St. John of Kronstadt)

“Watch your tongue.” As we all grew up, we often heard these words from our mothers. It was wise advice indeed! The tongue is probably responsible for more harm and hurt than any other part of the body. Although it is small and seemingly weak, it often causes incalculable devastation. It is for this reason that we need to heed our mothers’ advice before we speak.” (Rev. Andrew J. Demotses)

“What part of our body is so important that if we could learn to control just that one part that perhaps as the scriptures say, we could be considered to be a perfect person? What part of our body is it that in a moment’s notice can either establish us in the presence of the saints or abruptly remove us from any semblance of holiness? What part of the body of the person is essentially the door to the soul? When it opens, it exposes the truths, the existence, the pulse and the texture of the being that is within. What part of our body? What part of our body has the ability to kill or to raise-up, to destroy or to build, to heal or to wound, to make whole or to make lame, to love or to hate, to distress or to comfort, to teach or to blind, to give life or to bring death quickly?” (Fr. George Passias)

#ArchbishopDemetriosofAmerica #StJohnChrysostom #ThomasEdison #StJohnofKronstadt #RevAndrewJDemotses #FrGeorgePassias #Dynamis #OCPM #StSarahofEgypt #FoundationStudyBible #LifeApplicationStudyBible #StPorphyriostheKapsokalyvite #ArchimandriteVassiliosPapavassiliou #SrDrVassaLarin #SacramentalLivingMinistries #FrEdwardRommen #FrBasil #NETBible #Dynamis

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