Avoid Gossip

January 29, 2007

From A Catholic Life:

Saint Philip Neri once gave a lady who gossiped the following penance:

“Go to the market, buy a chicken, and pluck it on your way back here, scattering the feathers as you walk. When you give me the plucked chicken, I’ll tell you the rest of your penance.”

The woman was baffled did as she was told. After she handed the plucked chicken to the saint, St. Neri said, “Now that you’ve spread those feathers about, go pick them up.”

“But, Father! It’s impossible to know where they’ve all gone!”

“Just like the words of your gossip,” he said.


3 Responses to “Avoid Gossip”

  1. Sorka said

    Thank you! Wise words from a wise saint! St. Philip Neri is my patron saint, thanks Fr.Loren!

  2. Anonymous said

    I enjoyed the parable. And, I will pray that I am granted the wisdom and the insight to decipher what the two lines — after “Just like the words of your gossip,” he said.” — mean.

  3. Hebdomadary said

    As a Little Brother of the London Oratory (but alas not living in London), my own heart is enlarged at seeing the words of Fr. Philip quoted in the Blogosphere. Today he might have rendered it “Go and buy yourself a computer (with wi-fi capability), and on your way back here check all your favourite blogs…” You get the drift. For that one apt parable alone St. Philip deserves to be the patron saint of Catholic Bloggers. Shall we start a movement?

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