Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
My dear encountered couples:
Jesus was not the only one who opened eyes. Today’s letter from James can be an eye opener for any of us who might be inclined to think we are holy. “If a man who does not control his tongue imagines that he is devout,” writes James, “he is self-deceived.”
I sometimes wonder what we would talk about if we didn’t talk about each other. Could Washington DC survive without gossip? Could television fill up its schedule if it canceled all programs exposing other people’s business? And how about the you-know-what? The tabloids? A lot of reporters would be out of a job. But Princess Diana might still be alive. Maybe the only two people who never gossiped were Adam and Eve. Who did they have to talk about?
Talking about other people is probably the number one universal pastime. It isn’t all a waste of time. We can discover ourselves in stories about other people; we can be given examples of what to be like and what not to be like. Sometimes when we ourselves are talking about somebody else, perish the thought, it is pointed out that we do the same thing, we are not too much different from that person. Our eyes are opened to what has been obvious to others all the time. We have the same defects we criticize in others.
When does talking about others become a sin? I think most of us know. We are never to embellish to the point of a lie, never expose anyone’s rightful private life, harm nobody’s reputation, and for heaven’s sake don’t talk about anybody who happens to be standing behind you.
“If a man who does not control his tongue imagines that he is devout,” writes James, “he is self-deceived.” I wonder if James would say the same thing about a woman.