Philip Kosloski – published on 12/07/21
If you want to win someone over with your words, go to the source of all words, Jesus Christ.
Sometimes it may seem that our words do nothing. We try to talk with someone on Facebook, or in real life, and the person we are conversing with does not appear to be listening.
It can be a frustrating experience, one where we can easily lose our temper and start hurling insults.
For St. Ambrose, the key to winning someone over is in finding the source of all words.
There is also a rushing river giving joy to the heart that is at peace and makes for peace. Whoever has received from the fullness of this river, like John the Evangelist, like Peter and Paul, lifts up his voice. Just as the apostles lifted up their voices and preached the Gospel throughout the world, so those who drink these waters begin to preach the good news of the Lord Jesus.
If we want our words to have any effect, we need to first drink from the source, so that we may be filled to overflowing. That overflow will then spill out in our words and fill others with life.
Drink, then, from Christ, so that your voice may also be heard. Store up in your mind the water that is Christ, the water that praises the Lord. Store up water from many sources, the water that rains down from the clouds of prophecy.He who reads much and understands much, receives his fill. He who is full, refreshes others. So Scripture says: If the clouds are full, they will pour rain upon the earth.
Last of all, St. Ambrose urges us to make our words clean, so that we may win others over.
Therefore, let your words be rivers, clean and limpid, so that in your exhortations you may charm the ears of your people. And by the grace of your words win them over to follow your leadership.