On the back of our bulletin this weekend, the topic of the article was detraction.
Father Mathew Allman, CSSR stated that "we commit the sin of detraction when we without objectively valid reasons, disclose another's faults and failing to persons who did not know them."
In other words, folks - we gossip!
Or, in my case, I just 'vent' about what others are doing in my life to overwhelm me with stress. Or, God forgive me, I complain about my husband's weaknesses, faults and bad habits. (Side note: Did you know this is a verbal way of being unfaithful to your spouse?)
...Father William may regret that article, for I will have a whole new area to confess to him.
But thank you God for revealing an area of "Thou Shall Not" on my list of habits to work on correcting!
Here's the kicker: detraction is a form of distraction. When we talk about others to others, we are actually trying to distract from our own faults and failings. To build ourselves up, we put others down. - "Oh did you hear what they did?"
Am I right? Of course I am, for I see this tactic in my own actions.
Detraction has really gotten out of hand in our world today, just as many other broken commandments have. Our leaders detract in many ways in order to distract us from what they are not doing. The same can be said about famous celebrities who have entire shows dedicated to "detracting" about what others do. They want their shows, or themselves, to be elevated at the cost of destroying another's reputation. 'Cancel culture' feeds off of detraction, judging others as enemies of our society. And this particular evil is getting worse. Someday, they may be canceling someone you love - or even you!
So, dear beloved of God, let us not join in on this 'vocal mob.' Let us not spread rumors or gossip (even if true!) about others. May the words we speak be only words that are kind and loving. If we can't say something nice about someone - let's zip it!
Which means you cannot say that the author of this article (me) is a "WILD, WACKY, WONDERFUL WOMAN!"
(Oh yes you can; I give you permission to spread that truth to everyone everywhere! :) )
Just like we must spread the good news about every person we know and love. We must make sure that everyone sees them in a positive way to the best of our ability. We should strive for a reputation of: "He or she never spoke bad about anyone. They always had a kind word to share."
As disciples of Our Lord, we are called to go forth among the people, and spread the "Good News." So, start by giving people you see and love a compliment!
After all, bragging on them is the same as praising God's handiwork.