26 October 2011

Words of Wisdom

A Carmelite nun gives wise advice on how to curb sins of the tongue. She recalls the words of Fr. Thomas Dubay given during a retreat, on the obvious sins of the tongue, and the faults of speech:
Obvious Sins of the Tongue – “In a multitude of words, sin is not lacking” (Proverbs 10:19).

Detraction - speaking about another persons’ faults (faults that are true) without a good reason (Sirach 21).
Calumny - which is speaking about a persons’ faults (faults that are not true).
Bickering - speaking nasty or biting remarks
Nagging - the constant complaining, scolding or urging about a fault even if it is true; to find fault constantly (Proverbs 21:9).
Ego-centrism - constantly referring to what I did, what I said, etc. Constantly talking about ME
Breaking confidences - for there are natural secrets that should not be spread; people have a right to their reputation (Proverbs 11:13)
Dominating a conversation to prove a point - and most of the time we are unaware we are doing this.
Salacious talks/jokes - which has to do with speaking impurely (Ephesians 5:3-4).

Unrealized Faults of Speech

Talking can be a big waste of time - when the talking is empty and gossipy (Matt. 12:36)
Neglecting the spiritual in our speaking with others - which is the main business of our lives (Ps. 25:15; Eph. 1: Col. 3:12; Eph. 5:18-20)
Dissipation and draining of our psychic energies - leaving us fatigued, distracted, and unable to do our tasks at hand
Bad example - to our family, friends, co-workers, but especially to our children
Excessive comfort-seeking through words - which includes talking over and over again about one’s hurts
Excusing ourselves - when we should not
Vain discussions - when our time could be better spent (2 Tim. 2:16-17)
Meddling in others’ affairs (2 Thess. 3:11-12)
She ends with this rule:
NEVER pass on derogatory or uncomplimentary information about anyone, unless the Word of God has given you the specific authority and responsibility to do so, and the person you are informing likewise has responsibility in the situation and a need to know the information.
I know, it takes the fun out of much conversation--but are we here to deal in pleasantries or to become saints?