From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth. (Psalm 102:20)
And what does He see? Does He see sober, quiet labor? Does He see us working for His glory, focused on Him, with love in our hearts for all our neighbors?
Or does He hear nothing but the babble of gossips? Does He hear us talking about people behind their backs, judging them on hearsay?
At the beginning of one of his plays, Shakespeare has ‘Rumour’ speak, as a character:
Open your ears; for which of you will stop
The vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks?
I, from the orient to the drooping west,
Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold
The acts commenced on this ball of earth.
Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,
The which in every language I pronounce,
Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
…Rumour is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
And of so easy and so plain a stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wav’ring multitude,
Can play upon it. But what need I thus
My well-known body to anatomize
Among my household?
We need to focus on one very important fact: The way people talk about each other on t.v. is not Christian. On the internet? God forbid–even more un-Christian still. And on talk radio.
I guarantee that when I turn on the t.v, within fifteen minutes I will hear people talking about each other in a way that is un-Christian, no matter what channel it is. It will either be fictional gossip or real-live gossip. But it will be un-Christian speech.
(And if you think I mean, ‘except EWTN,’ I do not. EWTN has self-righteous gossips, too.)
If my mind has grown accustomed to the way people talk on t.v., I will talk that way myself. And I will speak when I should not about things that I should not.
Let’s let good St. Joseph guide us. Let’s count up the number of speeches he gave, as recorded by the Holy Scriptures. O, wait. He didn’t give any speeches. Okay. Let’s count up the number of sentences he uttered, according to Holy Scripture. Oh. Zero. Okay, how about the number of words he spoke, according to the Scriptures.
[Birds chirping. Summer breeze blowing.]
Thank you, sweet St. Joseph. Please pray for us. May we share in your gift of holy silence.