January 29: St. Francis de Sales: He Knew When to Shut Up!

Sometimes, a quote is profound enough to show that someone really “gets it”–and today’s saint, Francis de Sales, got it. Much more modern than this month’s run of saints, Francis lived from 1567 to 1622, and believed that any truths not spoken in love and shorn of all meanness should not be spoken. The following quote suffices for today’s post…it is just that moving:

“[T]ruth must be always charitable; for bitter zeal does harm instead of good. Reprehensions are a food of hard digestion, and ought to be dressed on a fire of burning charity so well, that all harshness be taken off; otherwise, like unripe fruit, they will only produce gripings. Charity seeks not itself nor its own interests, but purely the honour and interest of God: pride, vanity, and passion cause bitterness and harshness: a remedy injudiciously applied may be a poison. A judicious silence is always better than a truth spoken without charity.”

To this I can add nothing.

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