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Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church

My dear encountered couples:

St. Paul in his second letter to Titus gives advice to both men and women as to how to conduct themselves as befits a good Christian.

One of the things he advises women is: “They must not be slanderous gossips.” Isn’t that just like a man? Advising women not to gossip? I don’t know how it was back in Paul’s days, but in our days, there are probably as many men who gossip as much and even more than many women. It is not something restricted to any one gender. I hate to admit it but there are gossips even among priests and nuns. Without exception we all need periodic reminders to watch our mouths and control our tongues.

The trouble with gossip is that people tend to believe it, whether what is said is true or false. And the more shocking the story, the more interesting and long lasting it is.

Reputations have been destroyed with a slip of the tongue. And now, with newspapers like the National Enquirer in check—out lines at grocery stores, gossip has become a billion-dollar business. It’s no longer limited to tea parties and coffee breaks. People are paid to dig up as much private dirt as possible, and if they can’t find any, exaggerate or fabricate. The public is drooling f or savory tidbits.

Try not to be influenced by gossip. Try harder to keep your own mouth shut. Ruin a reputation and it may be forever. May God forgive us yesterday’s sins of gossip and restrain us today!a

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