10 September 2020

Jesus to St. Faustina Kowalska: “The tongue is a powerful tool that can do much harm. Murmuring or gossiping is never God’s thing. The devil is a liar who stirs up false accusations and gossip that can kill a person’s reputation. Reject the murmuring. Let others behave as they want, you behave as I want from you. Turn away from the whisperers as from the plague.” (From the diary of St. Faustina Kowalska).

Pope Francis with pastoral force said at the Angelus, “Talks close the heart to the community, close the unity of the Church. The big talker is the devil, who always goes around saying the bad things about others, because he is the liar who tries to disunite the Church, to alienate the brothers and not make community. Please, brothers and sisters, let us make an effort not to chat. Chatter is an uglier beating than Covid! Let’s make an effort: no chattering.”

Words, at times, are worse than knives (at least these need to be sharpened before using them, the tongue does not!), so much damage can be done by chattering and badmouthing others. Again the pope, on another occasion, reminds that the talker puts a bomb in the community and is like a terrorist. There is a “criminality of chatter” in society and in the church that dehumanizes humanity and the message of Christ; the antidote is silence and prayer that allows us to come back into ourselves to think about our own conversion rather than that of others.

Gossiping is a symptom of great inner dissatisfaction, gossiping is putting a stain on the face of the other person’s beauty to soil it with the black poison of our tongue. We also become “ugly” in looking in the mirror soiled with the blood of the brother we killed with our tongue. It wounds the tongue more than the sword, a proverb says, because the tongue has no bones, but it breaks bones, folk wisdom teaches us. How much good and how much harm can we do with the small but effective muscle of the tongue?

St. James writes, “You see, even ships, though so large and driven by raging winds, are guided by a very small rudder wherever the desire of the helmsman wills. Similarly, although the tongue is also a small part of the body, nevertheless it is capable of great things. You see, a fire no matter how small ignites such a large forest! The tongue is also a fire, indeed it is like the evil world the tongue among our limbs. contaminates the whole body and ignites the cycle of entire existence, drawing its origin from Geenna. For all sorts of beasts, birds, reptiles and sea animals are tamed by mankind, but the tongue no one among men is able to tame it: it is an evil that does not rest, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father and with it we curse men who are made in the image of God. Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing (Jas. 3:4-10).”

I conclude with a prayer of my own:

Oh Mary, Virgin of Silence,
Help me not to badmouth others.
Each person is the image and likeness
Of Your Most Beautiful Son: Jesus.
Heal my heart and my tongue,
help me not to “dirty” with words
The reputation and dignity of others.
Mary, Cathedral of Silence,
teach me silence
To listen to the gentle breeze
Of the divine wind in my heart
And give me words of blessing
And of hope toward all. Amen

Friar Emiliano Antenucci(Article from Interris 9