October Journal, Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

Call me deplorable, but I maintain that words matter. Language matters. Truth and lies matter.

This is why, for the most part, I do not like euphemisms, words that sound better than the reality the word represents. Hence, California’s Proposition 1 calls for “the constitutional right to reproductive freedom,” rather than “the constitutional right to murder unwanted babies.” They say this right is pro-choice rather than pro-abortion, making the taking of innocent life sound like an act of freedom.

Proposition 1 will embed in the State Constitution the late term killing of the unborn, with no limits, for any reason, for the “health of the mother” can mean mental health, which can mean mere feelings or mood. It can mean “blindness of the heart.” It allows abortion up to the moment of birth=infanticide.

California will become a killing sanctuary state, inviting women from pro-life states to come and have the “procedure” done in this pro-death state. Procedure?

I recall when surgeries became “procedures.” Beware of language misused. Question statements for their truth. Language is important.

And so as I listened today to our Epistle reading in church, St. Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, I smiled. It was all about words and truth. We are not to have a darkened understanding, like some,

“being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart… ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man…and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness… Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God… Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice…” Ephesians 4:17 (italics mine), BCP p. 216.

One of the beauties of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer is its Elizabethan language, also found in the King James translation of Holy Scriptures. The words are direct and powerful, dramatic and poetic. We are to learn Christ, hear and be taught by him, for he is the Truth. When we are alienated from the life of God (missing Mass and other benefits of the Church) we become blind in our heart through ignorance.

One of our clergy often said to enter the church with all your faculties: to question, to ponder, to think things through. The Church aims to teach, to bring us out of darkness into light. That first step of faith may open hearts to crossing the threshold, but we must be always learning, inwardly digesting, engrafting Christ onto and into our hearts through learning and partaking in the Holy Supper.

Putting off the old man by renewing our spirit enables us to put on the new man.

And so, I often pray, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14, KJV)

Beware of lies camouflaged as euphemisms that sound so appealing. Proposition 1 also protects the right to refuse contraception (which already exists in State law). By twinning death with life in this way, the death-words sound more acceptable. This too is a tortured use of language.

Darkness is dark. Light is light. Truth is true. Lies are lies. Dying is death. Living is life. As we learn Christ we teach our hearts to see, and what do they see? We see Love, Love embodied in God the Son, Love borne of God the Spirit, and Love commanded by God the Father, our Creator.

And so we pray for our nation and our peoples, our many beautiful races and languages and talents. We pray that all may learn Christ and see Love incarnate all around. We pray that all children be welcomed to this world, be given the chance of life and love. As someone wrote recently, the right to life of the unborn trumps the right of the mother to choose her child’s death, unless a choice must be made between the child and the life (not health) of the mother.

Words matter. In fact, they are matters of life and death.

One response to “October Journal, Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

  1. I love how Christine does not mince words. Language has become weaponized and manipulated for destroying humanity. Therefore, we must be cautious and not lured into using the misspoken language of the other side. Otherwise, we contribute to its “normalization.”


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