I read this great article entitled, “How to Overcome Sins and Faults of the Tongue,” by Sister Laus Gloria, O.C.D. In the article Sister is asked about her thoughts on the constant superficial chatter around her. Who would have thought that as adults we would still encounter the behavior of some people who are still acting like they are in high school?
When I returned to the work force after 25 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I was in for a shock. Though I had unfortunate experience with the “church gossips,” I was taken aback by how much people were willing to stab their fellow coworkers in the back. I learned quickly to hold my tongue when I confided in a fellow coworker who immediately relayed the information to another coworker while I was standing there!
One aspect of my current job depends on my keeping my mouth shut. It’s a great daily reminder that I not talk about fellow employees and their circumstances on the job or off. Not only has it kept me mindful of peoples’ privacy, it’s made me see them as God’s children. That’s something I forget especially when work is chaotic.
Sister Laus Gloria’s lists of Obvious Sins of the Tongue and Unrealized Faults of Speech gets to the basics of what my tongue can do. My tongue can be a weapon of mass destruction without my even realizing it! My words can hurt and damage people.
Recently, I posted an article on my Facebook page about a young man who was reaching out to the young woman who was raped by the Stanford swimmer. She didn’t agree with the article and thought it wasn’t Catholic. She also thought I shouldn’t be posting it on my page:
"I’ll tell ya what, Catholic, you will answer to God on the last day. Spreading misinformation...be ready to answer for that one. Maybe you should change your name to "Being Catholic. Unless it means having to actually live a life of discernment and make sure that I don't mislead others." Tell ya what, I don't need your false version of Catholicism polluting my page. My suggestion is that if you want to lead with the word "Catholic" you might want to follow up. Why not have a personal page to share lies and falsehoods instead of using this one?"
Did it hurt? At first. Then I realized the difference between her and me. When I disagree with a post on someone’s page (Catholic or not), I make no comment and keep scrolling. If after a time, I find myself continually disagreeing with what they choose to put on their page, I unlike it and move on.
Sister Laus Gloria has a wonderful list at the end of her article that has six things to do to overcome the sins of the tongue. I like number six the best:
“Just keep silent."