"And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! how can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” (Mt 12: 32-35)

If I find myself “running off at the mouth,” or overtalking in a way that begins to burden my conscience, it’s time to examine not primarily my words, but my heart. It’s by and with my heart that I embrace what the Prayer of St. Ephrem calls “the spirit of idle talk,” or, conversely, the grace of the Holy Spirit. And it is only in Him and with Him that I can “make the tree good,” – the “tree” that is me, “and its fruit good,” – the “fruit” that is my behavior in word and deed.

So let me re-embrace, this morning, the “good treasure” of the Holy Spirit, by opening my heart to Him in prayer, and letting Him sweep away any “other” spirits that may have made themselves at home in my heart. “O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who are everywhere and fill all things; Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life - come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.”

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