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Author Topic: James 3  (Read 4249 times)
Alan
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« on: January 02, 2007, 01:46:12 AM »

http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/james/james3.htm

James chapter 3:

    1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you realize that we will be judged more strictly,
2
    for we all fall short in many respects. If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also.
3
    If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide their whole bodies.
4
    It is the same with ships: even though they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot's inclination wishes.
5
    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.
6
    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.
7
    For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species,
8
    but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9
    With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God.
10
    From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers.
11
    Does a spring gush forth from the same opening both pure and brackish water?
12
    Can a fig tree, my brothers, produce olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither can salt water yield fresh.
13
    2 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom.
14
    But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.
15
    Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
16
    For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice.
17
    But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity.
18
    And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.


Footnotes

1 [1-12] The use and abuse of the important role of teaching in the church (James 3:1) are here related to the good and bad use of the tongue (James 3:9-12), the instrument through which teaching was chiefly conveyed (see Sirach 5:11-6:1; 28:12-26).

2 [13-18] This discussion of true wisdom is related to the previous reflection on the role of the teacher as one who is in control of his speech. The qualities of the wise man endowed from above are detailed (James 3:17-18; cf Gal 5:22-23), in contrast to the qualities of earthbound wisdom (James 3:14-16; cf 2 Cor 12:20).
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ncjohn
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2007, 02:36:30 PM »


17
 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity.
18
 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.


This is probably as close as anything to the criteria I use in awarding someone credibility with me. While there are cases where even a peaceful person can be goaded out of their peaceful state--as I too often am--and times when one is in deep enough pain that they are unable to focus on even the concept, the overall tone of a person of peace will be consistent and gentle.

It is probably the biggest beef I have with many at CAF. There is, in my experience, much more of a tone of righteousness than of peace there. There is much more of an attitutde of "if you want peace, do it my way" than of the living out of the humble example that this passage addresses.

The willingness to constantly take the "banish the evildoer from your midst" out of context as a means to achieve a "smaller, purer Church" completely misses the message of Jesus that he came to call the sick, not the righteous.

I really don't think that God--or the Church for that matter--really need to be "defended". What we need, IMHO, are people who can humbly live the message of the beauty of God. Few people will listen to words for which the actions and tone are inconsistent. My journey back to God occured only because I saw people who were joyfully living what I regard as true Christianity. Had I been directed to sign my "full mental assent" contract at the door rather than enrolled in the "beginners" class, I would have been out of there like I was on fire, as so many are week in and week out.

There are indeed few who should really be teachers, though most seem to fancy themselves that. As the saying goes, nobody wants to be the priest, but everyone wants to be the Pope. There is far to much brackish water coming from the springs of our hearts--mine included.

John
 
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2007, 03:08:35 PM »

There are indeed few who should really be teachers, though most seem to fancy themselves that. As the saying goes, nobody wants to be the priest, but everyone wants to be the Pope.

There is far to much brackish water coming from the springs of our hearts--mine included.

John
 


I must admit John, it is sooo easy to fall off the right path, when feelings from your deepest pain is triggered. Mine would be the feeling of equality.

Segrigation and feelings were seldome brought into this equasion when i grew up. I was told i could not do things based on being female.

For instance, if i wanted to play with my brothers big tonka trucks, they were taken from we with fury, "those are boys toys Lana Lue, and you know better!"

Not to talk back was inforced so deeply, that having a thought was talking back. It was follow the leader, and do as you were told. Very orderly.

So, when i had so much to say, and could not, i felt stifled, and incomplete. When dealing with this as an adult, and someone speaking down to me...this all comes back.

But not much gets said, i am so used to keeping my mouth shut, that what comes out instead is pent up feelings and wishes, and snarles sometime.

Brackish indeed.

I have to admit, that learning to speak on a daily bases, and being aloud to express my feelings here, without mocking and ridicule...well it is changeing the fight against my own brackish water.

But it takes work and effort. Childhood is a terrible thing to get over, and mine was not abusive or forgotten in the ways i have seen here.

My life was pretty normal, it was my 1st marriage that threw a major lug nut into the wash, spalding so very much with fear.

It does things to a person, terribly. I can not imagine being a child and this fear being there.

Never once was i afraid growing up, never! That is a thing i hold dear, yet know things can get better based on what i had, and am trying to regain.

Brackish, to keep it at bey, is a daily hope.

Lana
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Joy
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009, 11:06:08 AM »

Quote
With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God.

Funny that I should log onto this today.  Coincidence?  Or is God trying to teach me something.  I think I have developed a scruple that is very bothersome, and I am hoping to put it to rest or gain insight into truth about "detraction" --- the revelation of another person's failings, even though true, to someone who did not know them.

A family member is having difficulty with a very serious problem, and I have disclosed the situation to my daughter who did  not know of the matter.  What seems to be at issue is the disposition of the mind as the "sin" is revealed.  One priest told me that it is lawful to speak about this to obtain counsel, in confidence.  Yet this was not my motive, either.  It was more or less informational.  The inner sanctuary of my mind was not in the least "despising the sinner" which is the usual reason for disclosing another's failings; i.e., to deprecate them, as a pharisee might do.  In fact, I do pray for this person at every mass. 

Any thoughts?  After the horse is out of the barn with respect to revealing the "sin," why do I feel concern as though I have sinned, even though at the time of disclosure, I had no forewarning that I was about to do wrong?   Is this a temptation, or is it from the Lord?  Are we NEVER allowed to reveal true faults of others under ANY circumstances?  Ever?

Carole
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ncjohn
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 07:03:21 PM »

Hi Carole, it's great to see you around again.  Smiley

Like you I don't believe much in coincidences. I'm pretty convinced that any time I run into what seems to be coincidence God is at work trying to teach me something, though I am often not bright enough to figure out what it is.

Also "coincidentally", we had a Franciscan training session yesterday over in Chatanooga, and one of the topics had to do with improving communications between people, while another dealt with conflict resolution. During one of them the following was stated as the criteria that we should use before speaking:

Is it TRUE?
Is it NECESSARY?
Is it KIND?

I had heard this before, but I filed it away anyway as I know I fail often in this area. I hope I don't fall into saying things that are blatantly not true, but I'm quite sure I do at times indulge myself in speaking of things that are not necessary for someone else to hear, or are not said in a kind or uplifting way.

Are there occasions where it is ok to reveal someone else's faults? I fear that in this imperfect world there are definitely times when someone else might be endangered by not revealing them. It would be nice to think that a convicted sex offender who has served his or her time has been rehabilitated and that what they did in the past should be nobody else's business. But we know from experience that such offenders are subject to a high rate of relapse and protecting others would seem to make it legitimate to inform others of their faults to the extent that is needed for the protection of others.

Whether that is true of many of our day-to-day circumstances is hard to say. I tend to think there are a whole lot more that we shouldn't be discussing than ones that we should but there are surely times when disclosure of something may be necessary. It may not be necessary to disclose the particular fault but telling your daughter to be aware of "Uncle Jerry" because he has been known to do inappropriate things would certainly be allowed. Or letting your son know that grandma has a drinking issue and that you shouldn't let her try to drive after a party would seem to be prudent.

I think if we think twice before speaking once that in most cases we'll really know the answer to the question and whether the three criteria have been met. Realistically, that would probably be a good idea anyway as I tend to think we all do more talking than we really need to. (Brought to you by the Master of Blather!  Embarrassed)

John

 
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 07:52:08 PM »

As always, John, I look forward to your thoughts, for they reveal the Spirit's wisdom in a way that makes clear sense.  The discernment of whether to disclose truth to protect the innocent is not a difficulty for me.  Would that it might be so easy to figure out how to handle family matters.  It just seems normal to let other family members know what is taking place, and not standing on street corner with a trumpet. 

Where does one draw the line in keeping things to oneself until they become manifest to all - such as knowledge of a pregnancy before the evidence is born.  If the pregnancy is the result of fornication, then one indirectly reveals the hidden sin, even though no judgment is made upon the person's culpability, and there is no personal despising him as the truth is shared among family.  How say you?

God bless you,
Carole
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2009, 10:46:49 PM »


 
I've read the last few posts in this thread, Carole and John, and was reminded of a matter taken quite seriously, in Orthodox Judaism.
 
I was startled - when I first came upon the Judaic notion of lashon hara.[לשון הרע] 
It has to do with speech about others. 

When I consider the fact that Jesus grew to young manhood, under the Mosaic Law,
I can only assume that He would have been quite familiar with the concept.

And - instinctively - I know that Mary surely would have observed
that which is required, under the aegis of lashon hara.

When I realized how serious a matter this is, in Judaic thought and practice,
I read further on the matter. I have immense respect for Judaic thought - and
gaining further understanding of lashon hara simply increased my respect. 

This is what I read.  I am in the hope that it might cast additional light on the
matter currently being considered.

http://www.jewfaq.org/speech.htm

I know when I've sinned, in terms of lashon hara. And how I know - is that
I get this feeling of a great big hole in my conscience.  Cry
 


reen


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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2009, 12:21:10 PM »

Hello Reen,

Your references are excellent!  I never realized how holy a calling God had issued to the Jewish nation, and to be honest, it seems that they were really called to a very high standard of perfection -- as we all are today.  However, few of us consider the seriousness of this seemingly insignificant matter.  I have grown very much in sensitivity to keeping my tongue in check, but there seemed to be leeway when it came to family situations.  Not so, as I am learning.

Over the years, God has quickened my heart very much with regard, not only to avoiding gossip, but to avoiding the negative thinking that leads one to openly mouth what the mind has been contemplating.  It all begins with our thoughts.

Your link within the link was also very informative.  I will certainly log this in my documents for future reference.  It's a keeper!  A few weeks ago, I had asked God for the grace to know myself better and understand what is my predominant tendency to sin.  I guess this is His answer, whereby He caused me to search for more light on the use of our tongue.   

Thanks so much!
Carole
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2009, 11:44:02 PM »

quote: Joy
Hello Reen,

Your references are excellent!  I never realized how holy a calling God had issued to the Jewish nation, and to be honest, it seems that they were really called to a very high standard of perfection -- as we all are today.  However, few of us consider the seriousness of this seemingly insignificant matter.  I have grown very much in sensitivity to keeping my tongue in check, but there seemed to be leeway when it came to family situations.  Not so, as I am learning.

Over the years, God has quickened my heart very much with regard, not only to avoiding gossip, but to avoiding the negative thinking that leads one to openly mouth what the mind has been contemplating.  It all begins with our thoughts.

Your link within the link was also very informative.  I will certainly log this in my documents for future reference.  It's a keeper!  A few weeks ago, I had asked God for the grace to know myself better and understand what is my predominant tendency to sin.  I guess this is His answer, whereby He caused me to search for more light on the use of our tongue.   

Thanks so much!
Carole


You're welcome, Carole.  Smiley  I found much to learn, reading the tales of the Hasids. [Chassidic Judaism]
And I came upon the mother-lode of Hasidic stories, online, on Chabad.org. 
226 stories,  with an illustration for each.  Wonderful tales! uplifting to the heart, mind and soul.
Besides, who doesn't love a good story?

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/6588/jewish/Chassidic.htm

Glad that you've joined in posting, Carole, sharing your own most welcome thoughts. 

 
reen

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Alan
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2009, 03:02:09 AM »


Over the years, God has quickened my heart very much with regard, not only to avoiding gossip, but to avoiding the negative thinking that leads one to openly mouth what the mind has been contemplating.  It all begins with our thoughts.

Hi, Carole!

This sounds like something for which to be very thankful.  If I have negative thoughts, especially about other people, it seems that based on my eyes or tongue or other body language it will be betrayed, sooner or later.  It sounds to me like you have had some cleansing going on... a very rewarding kind of cleansing.  In the parable about washing cups and other passages I think Jesus is talking about the same thing that you are talking about:

Here are a couple quotes from the "seven woes" in Matt 23

 25
    "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
26
    Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.
27
    "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth.
28
    Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

And then from Luke 11:

37
    After he had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat.
38
    The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
39
    The Lord said to him, "Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
40
    You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
41
    But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.

To me it sounds like you are enjoying some really great "relearning" of what is right and important for you.  Sometimes I feel sad when I see people in church who go through the motions but I know they are a completely different person in a setting where they have to do anything except follow the ritual for their weekly visit to their churches.  I am really happy to hear that you not only are being changed, but you can enjoy it because you can actually perceive it happening and put it into words.

Alan
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2009, 10:05:16 AM »

I finally found the time to read your link, Reen, and I must say that it was indeed very instructive. I'm sure James was quite aware of all this when he made his comments about the danger of the tongue.

We have so much to learn in dealing with when and what to communicate to others. We live in such an information age that we not only feel we have a "right" to know everything about everyone and everything, but feel a corresponding right to broadcast any and all information that might come to our attention.

I found it particularly enlightening that part of the danger of speaking any type of information about someone was that the person hearing it could misinterpret it and then cause harm to someone based on their own misinterpretation. That is an angle I surely hadn't given a lot of thought to before.

John
 
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2009, 10:35:09 AM »

Dear Alan,

What a pleasant surprise to hear from you!  I trust all is well in your corner of the world?

Quote
This sounds like something for which to be very thankful.  If I have negative thoughts, especially about other people, it seems that based on my eyes or tongue or other body language it will be betrayed, sooner or later.  It sounds to me like you have had some cleansing going on... a very rewarding kind of cleansing.  In the parable about washing cups and other passages I think Jesus is talking about the same thing that you are talking about:

Yes, I thank God every time He quickens and sensitizes me concerning a breach of love regarding my neighbor.  In the ongoing "cleansing," I find that as soon as I utter something amiss, He makes me aware of it so that I can repent, or if I'm in doubt, I can raise questions to learn His will. 

Perhaps ithis sensitivity is a result of frequent confessions.  About a year ago around the time of my husband's death, my motive in going often was so that I could obtain plenary indulgences for others, including him; and one of the 3 conditions for the grant, is to confess often.  As I did so, possibly through the constant examination of conscience and grace of this sacrament, I found myself becoming stronger to resist, and the frequency diminishing.  Who knows, but maybe those souls I helped to rescue are now praying for their rescuer?   Whatever the source, I am very, very grateful and give the glory to God.

There was a bad habit I had for a long time due to living with family members who used profanity, that I would utter these words whenever I became annoyed - never in public, of course - but in my ordinary activities.  I thought the day would never come that I would be free from confessing this, but come, it did.  It has been a long time now since I let loose with unbecoming language, especially for a woman.   I hope this gives hope to whomever might be reading.  There was a fellow in the line for confession yesterday that said he was never coming back after this because he recites the same old sins.  I tried to encourage him, but maybe he isn't going often enough to gain the strength he needs?? 

Alan, you have a very enlightened heart, for you quickly spotted God's grace at work.  That too, is a beautiful gift, and may God continue to bless you to see His handiwork in many who touch your life.

Carole
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2009, 10:48:30 AM »

Hello Reen,

I am very intrigued lately with our ancestors' heritage, and your story link will give me some lenten spiritual reading that I'm sure will warm my spirit.  There have been a few programs on TV recently that explained the significance of some of these ancient traditions that were fascinating to me.  I was so glad to have accidentally tuned it.  Remarkably, they were not Catholic evangelists, but other faiths - yet TRUTH is still truth, wherever we find it.  I had been meditating on Jesus's passion and found some curious verses in the bible that I never really SAW before, and this person just happened to come on and explain the reasons for it.  Amazing! 

Thanks once more, and have a blessed day!
Carole

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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2009, 09:32:27 PM »

It seems to me, i have fallen behind in a few threads, in just missing one day...but on we go!

Alan...a breath of fresh air, each time we see your posts...and Carole is right, you are seeing,
and have in the past as well, the work of Gods hand in and around others working. Blessings!

As i read this, and the past few posts particularly, i thought of the same thing...as Alan spoke it well.
It is the hardest thing i have ever done, to be at all able to verbally, emotionally, or physically hide my
truest emotion, for they lay closest to anyone who has eyes. Ma calls it wearing your heart on your sleve.
I call it impossible...if i do not want to share these feelings, i have to baracade myself at home, and not
answer the phone. OR...one word out, and it is a damn breaking.

So to be such a seeker of truth, from the devistation in being lied to...it makes me seek further, and closer
to anyones truth...especially HIS truth...and the gift of his love letter called the Bible. But without his
deciples, like everyone here...there is no debth, or soul in them for me.

I am not sure if this is a good thing, or a weakness in me...but thankful i am!

Lana
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