“In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions. Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3: 5-8)As my daughter Charity says, “One must know when to fold and when to hold.” She and her husband Ryan are parents to six children and communication is their strong suit. Communication is an art anyone can achieve. Both listening between the lines and praying that you will hear the other person’s heart are two keys to communication. My husband says, “If you relate to people, you will have relationship problems." He also reminds me that “hurting people hurt people.” What do you think? I think my husband is right! When a person is offended they usually mull over the conversation in their mind. This is the best time to repair it. The relationship is restored. However if they avoid both the other person and repairing the relationship, hurt remains in their heart. It affects them and how they relate to the other person. Neither may be aware of how it has affected them. When Jesus was asked how many times we must forgive, he replied, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” (Mt.18:22) Relationships kept in the light are great. We “forgive and forget” when they are broken. Sometimes we are caught unaware by past hurts. Old wounds are re-opened, words fly and sometimes someone hurts our heart. A heart full of hurt can build up bitterness towards others. Frequent confession and prayer opens the door for Jesus to heal the hurt. This past month I was blessed to listen to a CatholicMom Facebook Live video. After I was finished I decided to listen again. In the video, Lisa Henley Jones suggests that you pick a word to work on all year. Listening to the video was the easy part; selecting my word took prayer. Guess what I will be working on this year? Forgiveness, of course, is my prayerful choice. As past hurts get healed and new hurts forgiven, I am hoping to be a new woman.
“A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.” (Ps. 51:12)Has someone hurt your heart? What do you do when someone hurts it? The more we empty ourselves from hurt and from sin, the more room there is for Jesus to come in. Let the healing begin!
What virtue will you choose in 2019? God makes all things new, but it is up to you to work with His grace.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Copyright 2019 Ellen Mongan
About the Author
Ellen Mongan is a Catholic writer, speaker, and host of WOW MOM podcasts. Her book, WOW MOM: A Walk with God, is on Amazon. She contributes to Catholic Mom, Women of Grace, and Augusta Chronicle. Her most important roles as wife to Deacon Patrick and mother of eight led her to ministry. Learn more and contact her to speak at EllenMongan.com.