Virtue begins in the home, and sometimes all it takes is a gentle voice.
Have you ever noticed that the more you are agitated, the more chaos can reign in your heart and home? It is very common that the more frequently we raise our voice, the less peaceful we are and, by extension, the less peaceful our home remains.
One key to virtue, especially if we struggle with maintaining our temper, is to use a gentle voice.
Fr. Francis Xavier Lasance reflects on this spiritual truth in his early 20th-century My Prayer Book. He quotes St. Francis de Sales, who wrote, “Accustom yourself in all that you do to act and speak gently and quietly, and you will see that in a short time you will completely control that abrupt impulsiveness.”
Lasance also quotes another writer, who explains the benefits of such a practice.
I would say to all: Use your gentlest voice at home. Watch it day by day as a pearl of great price; for it will be worth more to you in days to come than the best pearl hid in the sea. A kind voice is joy, like a lark’s song, to a hearth at home. Train it to sweet tones now, and it will keep in tune through life.
Observe how you approach others throughout the day, especially your own children. While it may be difficult to keep your composure when chaos ensues, the more you try to use a softer voice, the less anger will overcome your soul.
You may need to walk away from situations to calm down if necessary.
Peace within your soul should be guarded as much as possible, as the more peace you maintain, the more it will be spread to others.
Dispose your soul to tranquility in the morning and be careful during the day to recall it frequently to that state. Be on your guard and keep your soul within your control.
Often all it takes to maintain peace is to control our tone of voice.
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