Pope Francis

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The practice of Humility - 40

When you hear calumnies against your neighbor, you must feel very sorry, but try to excuse the weakness of the slanderer; on the other hand, you ought to defend the person, target of gossiping, with cleverness, so that your defense does not become a second accusation.  Thus, you may recall his good qualities, or highlight the esteem that he deserves from all, or shrewdly change the conversation, or show your displeasure for the tone of the conversation. Acting in this way, you will render the greatest service to yourself, to the slanderer, to the listeners, and to the person in question. On the contrary, if, without shaking off your inertia, you feel satisfaction when your neighbor is humiliated and annoyance when he is extolled, recognize that you are very far from possessing the incomparable treasure of humility.

J. Pecci (later Pope Leo XIII)

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