The 8th Commandment

‘And he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness, and manifest the motives of our hearts.’
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In the 1st Reading today, St. Paul is saying, that at the Final Judgment, everything will be revealed. Jesus himself says: ‘There is not any thing secret that shall not be made known. ‘What you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light.’ We should feel some trepidation, that what we say will be revealed. The 8th commandment says: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
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How many times do we wound a person by what we say about them? Jesus says, whoever speaks ill of his neighbor will be liable to the fire of Gehenna.
Speaking ill of our neighbor, is like the smell that rises from rotting corpses, bringing infection and disease to all who smell the stench.      
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Of course there are small-minded people who feel big by tearing others down. A businessman will say that the other man’s merchandise is worthless, or that he cheats. A workman will say that a colleague is lazy. They think this makes them superior.
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Calumny is telling lies about another. Detraction is telling another’s faults needlessly, which hurts his reputation.
A damaged reputation is almost impossible to recover. As scripture says, a good name is worth more than great riches. Prov 22:1
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In conversation sometimes, a person will say: ‘You know, what I said about him, it would be good to keep that quiet. It might hurt his feelings.’ Too late. It will be heard on the Last Day.        
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Listening to backbiting is to partake in the sin. When someone starts it, we should instead say something good about that person: ‘Oh, Angie? I really like her hairstyle.’ Say one nice thing, and all the bad talk stops.
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Tale-bearing tears down another, to get his friends to dislike him. This is worse than backbiting because it not only ruins the person’s good name, but tries to steal their friends as well.
St. John Vianney says, a person who is unfortunate enough to come under the tongue of a gossip, is like a grain of corn under the grinding stone in a mill: crushed and entirely destroyed.    
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In bad talk, people will ascribe to you intentions you never had; they will poison all your actions. If you do any good thing, they will say it is was just to gain attention.
The wicked tongue is like the worm which gnaws at good fruit; it is a maggot which infects the most beautiful flower, and leaves upon it, the disgusting trail of its own slime.
But justice will ultimately be done: all will be revealed on the Last Day.

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