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On the importance of the word

 The word as an image of the Holy Trinity

 From the essence of a thinking mind the word is born, inherent in it, exemplifying the thought and equal to it; from the thought issues the spirit of it, which rests within the word and by means of the word is transmitted to the listeners; this spirit is absolutely equal to both the thought and the word, and is equally inherent in both of them. For example, in the word love you can see the loving origin (the thought), and the word born of it, and you can feel the tender breath of love.

 

Idle words

 For every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment (Matt. 12:36). So you see how you will be held accountable and punished even for every idle word and not only corrupting word. Because there are not and cannot be any idle words in the eyes of our Lord, Creator of the Word: the word of the Lord shall not return unto Him void (Isaiah 55:11); for with God not a single word shall remain powerless (Luke 1:37); and we are created in the image of God, – therefore, our words, too, should not be uttered idly or in vain, but each word should have spiritual power: let your speech be always with grace (Coloss. 4:6). For this reason, both in prayer and in conversation, be extremely attentive not to utter words idly, to no purpose.

 

The power of the word

 The words of prayers are like rain or snow, if they are uttered with faith and compassion: each word contains its own power and bears its own fruit. Raindrops or snowflakes, falling upon the ground continuously, irrigate the soil, which then bears fruit; thus the words of prayer – that spiritual rain – each one separately irrigate the soul, which then bears the fruit of virtue with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, especially if it is accompanied by the rain of tears.

(From the spiritual diary of St. John of Kronstadt, “My Life in Christ”)



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