First, in examining this question, we have to start with something basic. What did Christ want? Among other things, He wanted a Church to be formed. He did not intend a group of uninterested spectators gathered around a headquarters in Rome. He wanted an active community of believers all involved in the task of spreading His Good News globally. We were to be a conscious group of believers, all united in our task of living in the Lord’s Presence, learning and integrating His teachings, and witnessing to them by our lives. Yes, principally by our lives.
Do remember that our sins or sinfulness carry a communal aspect to them. What does this mean? It means that our sins are largely social in character. I can’t really sin privately. What I do affects everyone else. We can never have a right to speak to each other in a hurtful way, and nothing can entitle us to have this right. Not our social standing, not our success in life or lack thereof, and not even our frustrations.
It is for this reason that speaking or writing hateful, or simply angry messages to each other, gossiping about others, and defaming others is really grievously sinful. It is like pouring acid over the community of believers. It destroys relationships, it weakens the Body of Christ. It offers the worst possible witness to Christ and His message. This is why it is grievously sinful. We might as well get the best possible technology in place that allows the greatest magnification of our voice, attach a microphone, and yell to everyone that above all else, never -EVER- listen to or follow the Lord! Is this how we want to live? Is this really the legacy we want our children to have?
There is an old saying that the mind is like a blotter. So, the color we dye it is the color it becomes.
If we can imagine our minds as a white piece of cloth, then if we place it into a blue dye, the cloth will turn blue. If we place it into red dye, then the cloth will turn red. With this example in mind, now imagine giving someone a “piece of our mind.” In effect we are dying the other person’s mind in the dye of our anger. Nothing really gets solved except that the other person’s mind will remain that way until cleansed, and who knows how long THAT will be! And maybe the reason that we spoke that way in any case, is because our own minds were dyed in hurt. Another relevant expression here is that “hurt people hurt people.” How do you think that expression got formed?
Yet how do we normally live in our homes? When something is broken, don’t we fix it? And if something is dirty, don’t we clean it? Well, why would that not be true with our minds? If we take the time to cleanse our minds instead, and to speak positive and healing words to each other, look how much more we could accomplish. Our relationships would be healed. Insightful living would be accomplished. Problems would be solved easier. Christ said that His Way would give us fullness in life. I believe that! Don’t you?
Blessings! Fr. Walt