On Gossip

Jesus says:”You must be able to tell the difference between an idle word and a useful one. A word is idle, and sin generally flourishes in idleness, when one speaks of other people’s faults with someone who can do nothing about them. Then it is plainly lack of charity, even if what one says is true. As it is lack of charity to reproach someone more or less sharply without giving advice at the same time. And I am referring to just reproaches. The others are unfair and they are a sin against our neighbour. But when one sees one’s neighbour commit sin, and one suffers because that person offends God and injures his soul, and one realises that one cannot estimate the gravity of someone else’s sin, neither does one feel wise enough to speak words that may work a conversion, and then one applies to a just and wise person confiding one’s anxiety, then one does not commit sin, because one’s disclosure aims at putting an end to a scandal and at saving a soul. It is the same as if one had a relative suffering from a shameful disease. One will certainly try to conceal it from people, but one will go secretly to a doctor and say: “My relative is suffering from so and so and I do not know how to advise and cure him. Please come or tell me what I must do”. Does one in that case lack love for one’s relative? No. On the contrary one would lack love if one feigned not to notice the disease and allowed it to progress and bring about death, through a mistaken feeling of prudence and love.”

Source: Maria Valtorta, Poem of the Man God