Periodically on Fridays I will share some words of wisdom from the founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Known in religion as Mother Francis Clare, Margaret Anna Cusack was a prolific writer in her day. Happily, thanks to public domain and the many internet book projects, much of her writing is now available online. She was a woman of her time and yet, ahead of her time in many ways. In this quote, for example, she writes about what we would today call nonviolent communication.
We are too apt to think because speech is momentary, that it is therefore insignificant; and there are not a few who excuse themselves for offending others causelessly and grievously on the plea that they have only said a few words, or that they did not mean all they said. But in truth, words are exterior signs of what passes in our hearts; and whatever our manner of speech may be, it indicates that which is within, that which is real, that which is, as a rule, under our own control, else there were no such thing as human responsibility, and, as a necessary consequence, no ground for the eternal judgment. – M.F. Cusack, Book of the Blessed Ones, 1874