Wisdom’s Corner No. 21: “Loose Talk”

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“Avoid idle talk, and you will avoid a lot of trouble.  Never repeat what you hear, and you will have no regrets.  Don’t tell it to your friends or your enemies unless it would be sinful to keep it to yourself.  Whoever hears you will take note of it, and sooner or later will hate you for it.  Have you heard a rumor?  Let it die with you.  Be brave! It won’t make you explode.  A foolish person trying to keep a secret suffers like a woman in labor.  Any time he hears a secret, it’s like an arrow stuck in his leg.

If you hear that a friend has done something wrong, ask him about it.  Maybe it isn’t true.  If it is true, he won’t do it again.  If you hear that a neighbor has said something he shouldn’t, ask him about it.  Maybe he didn’t say it.  If he did, he won’t say it again.  If you hear something bad about a friend, ask him about it.  It might be a lie.  Don’t believe everything you hear.  A person may say something carelessly and not really mean it.  Everyone has sinned in this way at one time or another.  If you hear something that makes you angry with neighbor, ask him about it before you threaten him.  Leave the matter to the Law of the Most High.”

Sirach 19

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