I often praise the Lord (though I also wonder why it should be so) that merely by his presence, and without saying a word, a servant of God should frequently prevent people from speaking against Him.
- St. Teresa of Avila, The Way of Perfection
Anybody familiar with her style knew it was her by the first parenthetical comment - Teresa and St. Paul ("I am not lying" or "I speak as a fool") both have this habit.
Isn't this true? How many times have people to whom you have never deliberately witnessed, taken the name of the Lord in vain or used a vulgarity and then turned and apologized to you? Or, conversely, when you yourself have used a swear word (I'm thinking of the milder scatalogical ones), they laugh and say "I never expected to hear that out of you!"
It IS a good reminder to guard our tongues when someone is surprised by our speech, but the original thought is nice, isn't it? When people have to think about using the name of our Lord and Savior to express frustration or anger? Does it make Him more real to them?
I have devout friends who are driven piously crazy by "brown talk," as they term it. Having a taste for the salty, I like this verse:
Let your speech be always in grace seasoned with salt: that you may know how you ought to answer every man.
- St. Paul to the Colossians 4:6