Leave nothing unsaid

What makes you the person that you are? What do you need to do the make you the person you want to be become? They say actions speak louder than words, and I believe that. But, when you have something to say, say it. Don’t leave it unsaid, especially if it’s the truth you want to speak.

I remember as a child how bashful I felt to say what was on my mind, mostly because of what I thought people would think of what I say! In hindsight, how foolish I was. I would wait until others spoke before voicing my own opinion, and, many times, would keep my thoughts and words to myself altogether. It was a difficult way to learn about life and live it. Eventually I overcame my fear of speaking and sharing my own opinions. If what you want to share is well thought out and comes from the heart there’s no need to be afraid — speak up and you will be heard. As an adult I now realize how foolish I was in my youth. If only I had heeded Paul’s words: “When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things” (1 Cor 13:11).

Remember Jeremiah when the Lord called for help during Israel’s lowest point in their history? Jeremiah, a young man, felt very overwhelmed: “‘Ah, Lord God!’ I said, ‘I do not know how to speak. I am too young!’ But the Lord answered me, do not say, ‘I am too young.’ To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you’” (Jer 1:6-7).

Words matter! Your own words matter a great deal and can have a positive impact on your life and the life of others. Don’t remain silent. Never remain silent! Allow the power of the Holy Spirit to work through you to say the things that matter most! And when you do speak, be humble. Remember what Mother Teresa once said, “I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, Who is sending a love letter to the world.” Your own words must speak love and truth — this is what the world needs to hear from you.

Leave nothing unsaid that does good for others. When was the last time you told your parents you loved them? And you, parents, when was the last time you spoke your love to your children and to each other? When was the last time you had a heart-to-heart conversation with your brother, sister or friend? When was the last time you reached out to those marginalized by society and offered them a simple greeting? When was the last time you spoke to God and listened for His response?

“The Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church,” #506, asks us: “Is prayer not just a sort of conversation with yourself?” It goes on to answer it in this way: “The distinctive feature about prayer is precisely that one goes from Me to You, from self-centeredness to radical openness. Someone who is really praying can experience the fact that God speaks — and that often He does not speak as we expect and would like.”

What exactly does this mean? That precisely a prayerful life is the first step to speaking the truth without fear. Converse with yourself in prayer and you will often experience that you will come out of a prayer different from the way you went in. But, sometimes it is necessary to keep quiet and listen. For it is only then you will be able to hear God speaking — the answer to your prayers.

So, collect your thoughts and think twice before speaking them. Use your words for good! The good that encourages and affirms those you love; the words that put trust in the person that otherwise has lost all hope in the world and people; the words that become the reality of kindness and caring, trust and love.

God bless!

Anchor columnist Ozzie Pacheco is Faith Formation director at Santo Christo Parish, Fall River.

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