“For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
How does one begin a blog by TAN Books? What if God were to read our blog? Would He care about the intent, the content, or the tone? How mighty a question; yet how foolish a question. But such a question gets to the heart of what TAN is all about.
The Lord sees and hears all that we do. Nothing escapes His omniscience, His omnipresence. And thus, every thought we think, word we whisper, or syllable we spell will be placed in evidence before the heavenly tribunal.
What of the thoughts we think? The judgment upon them will come as no surprise. As King David, that great repentant sinner, once said, “Thou hast understood my thoughts from afar off” (Ps. 138:3). The Lord will not conclude that our thoughts just whirl around, as if we are helpless victims of a breeze blowing through our minds. No. He will judge us for our thoughts. “But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt. 5:28).
What of the words we whisper? “The mouth of a fool is his destruction: and his lips are the ruin of his soul” (Prov. 18:7). And yet how loose we are with our words! What if we were to truly believe the words of Solomon: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21)? If foolish words cut our lips as they departed our mouths, we would be as the wise man and speak only when we have something to say. We need not rely on just the Old Testament to see certain judgment of our words, for Jesus Christ tells us Himself, “But I say unto you, that every idle word men shall speak, they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Mt. 12:36–37).
And what of everything we write? I think of the Angelic Doctor who declared at his death that all he wrote was but straw, which any humble writer must come to understand.
The leadership of TAN will be judged for all they publish, whether in a blog or social media or video or in a beautifully bound book. In fact, everything any of us think, say, or write is in many ways directed to our Lord. “Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). Just as all roads used to lead back to Rome, all our words—interior and exterior—lead back to the Word of God. Our lips may not be cut by our foolish words, but our souls most certainly are. And if we are not careful, we will appear at our particular judgment scourged by our own words as Christ was by the Romans. In fact, our words scourged Him. They truly did.
TAN is a company that finds those words that jar the soul. The greatest of TAN’s books do not speak to the mind per se but to the heart. And the great spiritual masters that TAN publishes plead with the heart to convert now—right now. They beg for the reader to give himself to the Lord like a beggar begs for sustenance. Truly, the great TAN books strike the heart in a unique way that cannot be ignored. One must either love them or hate them, but one cannot be indifferent to them.
This blog must be of the same nature. Our goal is to find the right words to jar your soul, for every soul needs jarring. And thus, this blog is not for the faint of heart. It is for those ready to lose themselves completely in the passion of our Lord, in the fire of His Holy Spirit, and ultimately in the Father’s embrace.
Words matter. And I pray these words will matter to you.
Conor Gallagher is CEO of TAN Books. He is author of various books and is a proud husband and father of fifteen children. His subjects of interest include family life, philosophy, the spiritual life and spiritual direction. His graduate degrees are from the Catholic University of America.