Speaking evil against virtuous souls, or against consecrated persons, is especially evil

December 2, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 380
By Venerable Louis of Granada

But of all detractions, that which is directed against virtuous persons is the most sinful.

It not only injures the person assailed, but tends to discourage others who are beginners in virtue, while it confirms the cowardice of those who will not risk our censures by striving to do good.

For what would be no scandal or stumbling-block to the strong may prove an insurmountable obstacle to the weak.

If you would appreciate the evil of this kind of scandal reflect upon these words of our Saviour: “He that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a mill-stone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.” [ST. Matt. xviii. 6.]

Avoid, therefore, as you would a sacrilege, all scandalous reflections upon persons consecrated to God. If their conduct furnish matter for censure, nevertheless continue to respect the sacred character with which they are invested, for it is of them that our Saviour has said: “He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of My eye.” [Zach. ii. 8.]

All that we have said of detraction applies with still more reason to those who make others the object of derision and raillery; for this vice, besides having all the evil consequences of the first two, presupposes pride, presumption, and contempt for one’s neighbor.

In the Old Law God especially warns us against it: “Thou shalt not be a detractor, nor a whisperer among the people.” [Lev. xix. 16.]

We have no need to insist upon the enormity of this vice; what we have said on the subject of detraction is sufficient.

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