Words matter.  Yep, how many times have we heard that recently?  For that matter, how many times did our parents tell us that?

Also,what words are we hearing lately that cause us to wince or cringe?  Like proverbial water on a proverbial rock, the repetition of words erodes our sensitivity, until we scarcely hear what’s being said.

And yet.  What is being said, or implied? Do we agree, and repeat those words ourselves? Civility, here in Charm City (that’s Baltimore’s other title, which may be new – though not fake – news) used to be a local crusade, championed by a well-known radio host, Ron Smith.  Gracious words were encouraged, even on bumper stickers and by a popular prayer: “O Lord, make my words sweet and tender, for tomorrow I may have to eat them!”

May I suggest we all make an effort to turn up our various hearing devices, tune in to what’s wafting past us in the air, find a way to be sweet and tender even more than usual, and not add our ounce of negative or cynical flavoring to the word-salad spinning around us?  Shift the focus, season that salad with some gracious words, upbuild our sagging spirit: it can’t hurt, and we can hope it will help us!


Sr. Martha Pavelsky, MHSH