Part of a sermon by St Anthony of Padua....
The man who is filled with the Holy Spirit speaks in different languages. These different languages are different ways of witnessing to Christ, such as humility, poverty, patience and obedience; we speak in those languages when we reveal in ourselves these virtues to others. Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak.
We are full of words but empty of actions, and therefore are cursed by the Lord, since he himself cursed the fig tree when he found no fruit but only leaves. Gregory says: A law is laid upon the preacher to practice what he preaches. It is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge of the law if he undermines its teaching by his actions.
The Purpose of Pain ....
In the apple-growing state of Maine in America, I was visiting a farmer friend and saw an apple tree so loaded down with fruit that the branches had to be propped up to keep them from breaking under the weight of apples. When I remarked about the fruitfulness of the tree, my friend said to me, Go over and look at that trees trunk down near the bottom.
There I saw that the tree had been badly wounded by a big gash across its side. The farmer explained, That is something we have learned about apple trees. When the growing tree tends to run to wood and leaves and not to fruit, we stop it by wounding it, by cutting into its bark. And we dont know why, but almost always the result is that the tree turns its energies to producing fruit.