The Impact of Speech

Some of the best preaching is done by holding the tongue.

One day St. Francis of Assisi invited a young monk to accompany him to the town to preach. They set out, wandering through the main streets of the town. Several people turned to them with a friendly word of greeting. They returned the greeting with a nod, a smile, or words of cheer.

Every now and then they would stop to caress a child or speak to someone. And all along the way St. Francis and the monk carried on a lively conversation between them. After they had travelled quite a distance, the young monk grew anxious and asked St. Francis when and where they were going to begin their preaching.

“We have been preaching from the time we left the monastery door,” replied the Saint. “Haven’t people been observing our joyfulness, or feeling inspired by our greetings and smiles; haven’t they noticed how pleasantly we behave towards each other along the way? If these are not all little sermons, what are they?”

It is not how much we do, but how much love we put into what we do

(Mother Teresa)


Disciple: Tell me the difference between one who preaches and one who practises.
Master: Those who preach use a torch to show the way; those who practise are the torch.

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