Skip to comments.How to Make All Our Conversations Virtuous [Ecumenical]
Posted on 07/27/2010 4:39:38 PM PDT by Colleen Hammond
Meditation for the Morning
Let us adore Our Lord Jesus Christ conversing in the world, and doing men the favor to hold intercourse with them. (Baruch 3:38) Oh, how holy were His conversations, how far removed were they from all the miserable features which are so often to be met with in ours! (Wis. 8:16) Let us contemplate and bless this adorable pattern.
Faults to be Avoided in Conversation
The first fault of conversation is dissipation or want of reflection, which is the cause, first, that we lose considerable time in useless speechesconversation1 How to Make All Our Conversations Virtuous; second, that the soul, being subjected to no restraint, becomes unskillful in prayer, meditation, and serious matters (Ecclus. 21:29); third, that we abandon ourselves to immoderate gaiety, to jesting and frivolous talk, to words characterized by scurrility, which are quite unworthy of issuing from the mouth of a Christian, to obstinate and regrettable disputes, to clamor, and vivacious speeches, which are imprudent and to be regretted. The lips of the unwise, the Holy Scripture says, will be telling foolish things; but the words of the wise shall be weighed in a balance (Ibid. 28); do not expect from a man quick to speak either words of wisdom or amendment of life (Prov. 29:20); fourth, we render ourselves disagreeable to our neighbor by always endeavoring to speak, interrupting others, and talking without caring to listen, which is the sign of a fool. (Ecclus. 10:14)
The second fault in conversation is the spirit of criticism. We fall upon the absent, we mock at the defects of others, we find something to speak against in every one, above all in those whom we dislike; calumnies, falsehood, deceit, season all that we say, foment divisions, and weaken charity. We exaggerate defects and we diminish virtues, sometimes from vanity, sometimes from wanting to make ourselves esteemed, sometimes from vengeance, anger, and contempt, lowering as much as possible the merit of those whose life, being better regulated than ours, is a reproach to us, and turning into ridicule the good actions of virtuous souls, their maxims and practices of piety.
The third fault is anti-Christian discourse, in which we extol the enjoyments of life; we boast of the happiness of those who enrich themselves, who procure for themselves pleasures, and attain to honors and glory; we pity poverty, which the gospel beatifies; we envy riches, which the gospel curses; we make a profession of not suffering humiliation and contradiction, to ministering to our own comforts, of liking to be at our ease, of satisfying our tastes; and the mouth speaking out of the abundance of the heart, we make of the pleasures of the table, of the delights and enjoyments of the world, the ordinary subject of our conversation. Now what can be more anti-Christian, or more opposed to the gospel, than such language as this? Is it not, as it were, an apostasy?
Let us here examine ourselves, and see whether our conversations are not often tainted by some of the faults which we have been pointing out.
Virtues to be Practiced in Conversation
First, charity ought to preside over it; (James 3:1-3) a gentle charity, characterized by a serene expression of face, an affable manner, kind and cordial words; an indulgent charity, which takes in good part and interprets in a favorable manner all that is said; which excuses others, even at its own expense, in so far as prudence permits; which never shows any annoyance at wants of good breeding, rudeness, or infirmities of our neighbor; which accepts with meekness advice, reprimands, mortifications, whatever they may be; an attentive charity, which watches over its words and manners, that it say nothing or do nothing which can give displeasure, but, on the contrary, say and do everything that is amiable in so far as conscience allows; lastly, a communicative charity, which testifies affection for others, joyfully renders them good offices, and interests itself in all that concerns them.
Second, humility ought to be associated with charity, the humility through which we look upon ourselves as unworthy to converse with men, after having deserved to converse only with demons, and which, consequently, treats every one with consideration and respect; (Rom. 12:10) listens to others without permitting itself to interrupt them, feels no annoyance at being itself interrupted or not listened to with attention; willingly defers to their opinion in so far as conscience authorizes them to do so, avoids speaking of itself or of what may attract praise and esteem. Third, zeal for good ought to sanctify conversation, by consoling our neighbor in his trials, encouraging him in his annoyances, strengthening him in his weaknesses, raising him up when he is cast down, giving him good advice with discretion, leading him to God and to virtue. (1 Pet. 1:15; Philipp. 1:27)
Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.
CATHOLIC CAUCUS Ping List ping.
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Thank you for the ping. I will read and reflect.
Wonderful column! Thank you.
Advent -- A Season of Hope
Modesty En Vogue [Another one of the virtues]"
Prudence: Mother of All Virtues
The Virtue of Confidence
Is Courage a Masculine Virtue?
Cardinal Virtues: Obama and the Real American Infrastructure Part One
Cardinal Virtues: Obama and the Real American Infrastructure Part Two
Morality is Habit-Forming: The Cardinal Virtues
The Cross Exemplifies Every Virtue [St. Thomas Aquinas]
Living the Virtue of Humility
I can’t speak for others, but for myself, I know it is very difficult to forgive someone who has spread untruths about me.
Our priest suggested in a homily that we put their name on a favorite religious picture (on the back) and everytime we walk past it, put our hand on the picture and say a short prayer for that person.
I can now speak to the person who spoke ill of me and be genuine about it. (ASt first I had to pretend, but I still practiced saying “Hello.” etc.
You did it like a proper Saint. It can be Hard. I have been there. Forgive our trespasses as we forgive others. Just put it into the Lords hands.
Thank you for your kind words...and warning? :-) Maybe it was a good thing to start with a “charity in conversation” posting! :-)
What a fabulous list...THANK YOU!
Well, I can certainly relate to forgiving those who have spread untruths about you.
I’m working on a new book entitled, “The Gossip’s Guide” so I’m very sensitive to that particular commandment. But I can tell you that it becomes easier to forgive people. Forgiveness is an act of the will, NOT a feeling. We decide to forgive. Each and every day.
My Spiritual Director reminded me that God will punish those who engage in detraction (or calumny) much more than we ever could, so they really DO need our prayers.
Those are all threads posted on FR, if you can believe it!
**My Spiritual Director reminded me that God will punish those who engage in detraction (or calumny) much more than we ever could, so they really DO need our prayers.**
This is very good to know. I will continue my prayers. It seems that when one is in charge of something at one’s church — you can’t please everyone and there is always someone saying something behind a back.
Thanks for your thread....helping me to let go of these hurt feelings.
Heh, this reminded me of something I heard during the sermon on Sunday. Father talked about how he learned during his theological training that there was one thing God couldn't do; something that is logically impossible like make a stone so big He can't move it. He went on to say that during his priesthood he's learned there's a second thing God can't do; please everybody.
Well, the Holy Spirit of Peace was all over Myself. Head to toe for 10 to 15 minutes. Then a beautiful presence all day while reading and watching the Bible readings on TV and Internet.
My Mother(devout Catholic) when growing up always told us to forgive. Never let a grudge happen or linger. It can be Hard. But, I put my hands up to the Lord and give at times the beginning grudge to be taken to the Lord for healing. I believe it is taken care after this act in pray. Praise Jesus!
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