Monday, February 1, 2016

Passing Judgment


Sometimes when I listen to spiritual talks, there is often a thing said that really strikes me as something I need to listen to again and perhaps really meditate on.    The other day while listening to Fr. Chad Ripperger's talk on Gossip (*see note below*), he quoted Saint Thomas Aquinas regarding judging others and explained what Saint Thomas meant.  Here is what caught my attention:

"Saint Thomas Aquinas says, "What is required to judge someone? There are three things that are required:

1) Authority:  In order to judge someone, one must have authority over that person.  Most people whom we pass judgment on, we have no authority over them in any way.  Only God has authority over the conscience of another individual.

2) Justice:  Judgment must be done according to justice.  The judgment cannot be worse or less than it is.  It has to be as it is....you don't exaggerate.
 
3) Knowledge:  You have to have knowledge.  It is a fact that none of us has access to the interior life of other people.  None of us.  We don't know...When you gossip, you are setting people up to pass judgment, so you end up being an occasion of their sin.  Don't become responsible for other people's sin..."
How sobering!  So much to think about and consider!

Recently I stopped getting a certain Catholic publication which will remain unnamed.  I did not renew my subscription, not because I didn't agree with what was being said, but rather because I found it so critical of certain Church hierarchy that I decided that is wasn't helping me spiritually to read what was written.  I found that what was written was encouraging me to be judgmental rather than holy.

*Note:  To download these talks by Fr. Ripperger, you must give (1) $1.00 via Paypal, (2) offer up a decade of the Rosary, or (3) perform some form of penance for the intentions of Fr. Ripperger (for each individual media file downloaded). The same rule applies if you copy and distribute to friends. you can download and listen to Fr. Ripperger's talks.  The talk on Gossip can be found HERE.  Scroll to nearly the bottom of the page and look for his talks on Virtues and Vices.  It's under the talks on modesty.

*I took the fishy photo at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.