It’s quite reasonable to joke about people when you know it will actually make them feel good, says St. Clement of Alexandria. But making fun of people is a dangerous sport, and one a Christian needs to avoid. Older people, looking on the young as children, may (though very rarely) be playful with them, joking with them to train them in good behavior. For exam­ple, if you’re with a bashful and silent young man, you might jokingly say, “This son… Read more

Watch what you say to the people around you, says St. Clement of Alexandria. A Christian’s job is to spread goodwill, not to stir up ill feelings. We should keep away from mocking, the beginning of insults, from which fights and disagreements and grudges burst forth. A man is judged from his words, not just from his deeds. “Do not reprove your neighbor at a banquet of wine,” as the saying is. “Speak no word of reproach to him” (Sirach… Read more

It’s officially here…..the Christmas time crunch! If you are a last minute shopper and are scrambling for a gift to get that hard to shop for family OR you just wait until the last minute to undertake this task…..here a few suggestions I’ve gotten my hands on that I recommend. Everyone could use a calendar or planner, and there are numerous choices out there. I’m going to lead this guide off with my personal favorite that deserves a cherished spot… Read more

We often think a lie is good, or at least harmless, if it brings some good effect. But it isn’t, says St. Augustine. The truth is a sacred thing, and we should no more think of lying for a good reason than we would think of committing adultery for a good reason. We must consider every lie a sin, because we should always speak what is in our hearts: not only when we know the truth, but even when we… Read more

Palladius of Galatia, who spent years among the desert hermits of Egypt, tells the story of Pambo, who thought so carefully before he spoke that he preferred to let months go by rather than give an ill-considered answer. On his death-bed, at the very moment of his passing, Pambo is reported to have said this to the bystanders, Origen the priest and steward and Ammo­nius—famous men, both of them—and the rest of the brethren: “From the day that I came… Read more

St. Ambrose, one of the great thinkers in Christian history, weighed his words carefully. When we run the risk of being judged by our words, he says, silence is better than speaking. Now what should we learn before everything else? To be silent, so that we may be able to speak. Otherwise my voice may condemn me before that of another acquits me; for it is written, “by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37). Why should you rush… Read more

It’s easy to get carried away when we start talking, says St. John Chrysostom. We should remember how easy it is to sin by a careless word, and take care to consider what we’re about to say. Bind up your words, so that they won’t run riot, and grow wanton, and gather up sins for themselves in too much talking. Confine them; hold them back within their own banks. An overflowing river quickly gathers mud. Bind up your meaning, too…. Read more

Review by Julie Abell Does anyone reading this blog remember the “Enjoli” commercials for which the actress/spokeswoman sang “I can bring home the bacon…Fry it up in a pan…and never, ever let you forget you’re a man! Cuz I’m a wooommmannnn – Enjoli” If you don’t know this commercial, look it up on YouTube.  I bring that up because that will tell you the image I grew up with as the role model for womanhood.  While the images today are… Read more

What we say can be as important as what we do. St. John Chrysostom reminds us that it’s up to us to decide whether we’ll use our tongues for good or for evil. First of all, we should train our tongues to be ministers of the grace of the Spirit, expelling from our mouths all hostility and ill will, and the habit of us­ing obscenities. We have the power to make each part of our bodies a tool of evil… Read more

The things we say even in casual conversation can have profound effects on the people we say them to. St. Ambrose advises us always to keep our conversation within the limits of friendly good taste, so that we never give anyone an occa­sion of sin. Speech is divided into two kinds: first, as it is used in friendly conversa­tion, and then in the treatment and discussion of matters of faith and justice. In either case we must take care that… Read more

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