Sunday, August 30, 2009

What really defiles us

In this morning's gospel reading, Jesus declares that we are not defiled by what goes into our mouths but rather by what comes out. Here's a story that illustrates how seriously we need to concern ourselves with that teaching:

- A woman once went to St. Francis of Assisi and asked what she had to do to be forgiven for her gossiping. St. Francis told her to take feathers and place one at the doorstep of everyone she had spoken ill of in the town. She did so and returned to the wise saint. Francis told her to then go and retrieve all the feathers. When she attempted to do so, they were all gone. By that time the feathers were scattered all around town. Once again, she returned to St. Francis and told him about the feathers. He said to her, "You wish to repent and be forgiven of your sin. Good. But the damage of your words is done and can not be taken back."
I found the story right here.

You know, I'm trying to remember a time the Church tore itself apart because of (rather - objecting to) the gossips within our midst. I'm not having much success here.


  1. I can remember a time when people in a church I served were using e-mail to send out information to nearly 100 people at time based a decision I had made. The information was mostly not true. It didn't tear the church apart, but it created a lot of animosity and it made my life somewhat miserable.

  2. Hmm. I think I worded my post badly. What I meant is that people are tearing the Church apart over ordaining gay people and blessing gay marriages - that they think it's such a huge issue but nobody seems terribly upset about what gossip does to the Church. I completely agree with you. Gossip DOES tear up the church. I'd like to see a General Convention and a Lambeth Conference devoted to discussing the distructive effects of gossip and slander!


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