By Fr. William Redmon
In a world full of “gentlemen’s clubs,” “strong language,” and “mature programming,” it seems we may have stretched linguistic elasticity close to the breaking point. Yet we would do well to remember that it is not the safety of our language that we hazard when we act so; rather it is our own. For in seeking to distort our language thus, we allow her to act as the vehicle through which the fallen world may broadcast its message.
And the message of the world is this:
Depart from the sure footing of the faith of your fathers, and file complacently into the cold bowels of the most novel ship you can find; you need not verify the destination, so long as the ship is moving. Sail far across a sea of iniquity, into the dark dusk of the intellect, until you see a desolate island covered with clouds of despair. When you have disembarked, venture across the frozen sand, and slog deep into the heart of the darkest, most forsaken swamp you can find. When you discover a place where vices are considered virtues and passions mere impulses, where sin is welcomed as freedom and righteousness is condemned as slavery, where liberty and license are confused, and where any opinion is credible, so long as it is novel, there, in the midst of that filthy, stinking morass, you will find, enthroned amidst the hosts of his slaves, the Prince of this World.
But Christ Logos, the Word Himself, has a different message: He calls us to be more careful with our words. Let us heed His message. Let us seek not to distort language to justify injustice or to sanctify sin. Let us use it, rather, to pray, to worship, to uplift, and to heal. For in doing so, we shall enter more deeply into the Ark of the Church.
As we prepare to enter into Lent, let us be careful with our words, lest we be judged by the Word. Let us board the Ark of the Church, drawing the world into the nets of His saving grace, that we might sail, together, into the eternal glory of His Kingdom. The choice of destinations is ours, my friends. Let us make it well.
Fr. William Redmon is the Assistant Priest at the Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. This article was originally published in the Shepherd's Staff Newsletter of February 2016.