Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Kibosh on Gossip

It starts out easy enough..."I just wanted to ask you to pray for "so n so" because of this "reason"...and then before you know it...."it's probably because of this n that or the other thing" and then it becomes full-fledged unabashed slander. Webster defines gossip as, "idle talk of rumor, esp. about the private affairs of others." Although the catechism never uses the word gossip, it does say “2477: Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause (someone) unjust injury."  When I read guides for examinations of conscience, it lists gossip under commandment #5..."Thou shall not kill."....ouch! Is it like murder to ruin someone's character based on judgemental thoughts?  The bible says,"Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure."  Psalm 101:5  I can't count the times I've slipped down this slope...much to the detriment of my soul. I realize that if I really want to go to Heaven, I have got to start doing what is necessary...why do I slip?? Often, it's because, when I talk about someone else's "issues", it makes me feel like a better person....I can say that when I gossip, it usually stems from jealousy or envy...or both and my own feelings of inadequacy. I heard someone once ask, "Could you still say what you were going to say if that person were standing there?"  How many conversations that I have had, could I say yes about??? " We are called to love each other and to protect each others' names and honor.  "He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends."  Proverbs 17:9  I guess it all boils down to loving. "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope.Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life." Amen.


  1. Debi, thank you for saying what we all need to be reminded of, even if it isn't pleasant to hear a reminder of our fallen nature. Prayers that we can all be stronger than the temptations we are faced with and persevere in our efforts to attain heaven!

  2. Thanks for another great post, Debi. I struggle with being horribly judgmental, namely in my thoughts and in the things/people I gripe about to my husband. It's hard. As Fr. Matt often points out to me, pride is an ugly, ugly monster. So many of our sins can be traced back to pride, and gossiping is definitely one of those. It "feels good" at the time, to put people down, because it makes us seem that much better in our (fallen) mind's eye. Thanks for this post, so true.

  3. Haven't we all slipped in this department? It seems that Father has mentioned how words can kill in every homily during daily mass this past week. Once they come out, they can't be put back in, for sure.