Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Pope Francis: Stop speaking ill of others!!

It is one thing to admonish out of charity your brother or sister in the Faith. Admonishment should be private and authentic. The "outing" of a sinner - a public sinner, is a last resort, and is permitted if this same sinner is undermining the Faith. In fact, St. Francis de Sales permits this only exception in denouncing someone publicly: the person is an open enemy of the Faith. 

Sadly, many times Christians back-bite, name call, and worse - even in the name of "Christianity". The internet provides a degree of anonymity, and hence, encourages the propensity to indulge in the sin of detraction. Not only the web, but email, too, has become a tool to defame a brother or sister. We can send a poison pen letter to innumerable people with the click of a button.

Our Holy Father has these words of admonishment to us on how to approach our brothers and sisters. Let us listen to his words; let us act upon them. Be a Christian, live the Gospels

Pope Francis continued: ...Jesus, "with all the simplicity says: "Do not speak ill of one another. Do not denigrate one another. Do not belittle one another”. The Pope noted, "in the end we are all travelling on the same road", "we are all travelling on that road that will take us to the very end." Therefore "if we do not choose a fraternal path, it will end badly, for the person who insults and the insulted". The Pope noted that "if we are not able to keep our tongues in check, we lose”. “Natural aggression, that of Cain toward Abel, repeats itself throughout history." Pope Francis observed that it is not that we are bad, rather "we are weak and sinners." That's why it is "much easier", to "resolve a situation with an insult, with slander, defamation instead of resolving it with good means".

Pope Francis concluded: “I would ask the Lord to give us all the grace to watch our tongues, to watch what we say about others." “It is a small penance - he added - but it bears a lot of fruit." "Sometimes, we go hungry and think, ‘What a pity I didn’t taste the fruit of a tasty comment against another person." But, he said, "that hunger bears fruit in the long run is good for us." That's why we ask the Lord for this grace: to adapt our lives "to this new law, which is the law of meekness, the law of love, the law of peace, and at least 'prune' our tongues a little, ‘prune’ the comments that we make of others and outbursts that lead us to an easy anger or insult. May the Lord grant us all this grace".

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