Thought for the Day – 15 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Conversation with God and with Men
“Let us recall again the sentence in which The Imitation of Christ paraphrases an idea of Seneca (Epistulae morales ad Lucilinum, 7) “As often as I habe been amopngst men, I have returned less a man” (Bk 1 cj XX, v 2).
The writer goes onto explain what he means by this, “It is easier to keep silence altogether, than not to fall into excess in speaking. No man can safely speak but he who loves silence!” IIbid).
We have all experienced how true it is that when we are frequently in the company of others, we become easily absorbed in matters which are spiritually advantageous, neither to ourselves, nor to our neighbour.
If the people with whom we associate were holy, this would not happen.
It is always edifying to hold conversation with a Saint.
After such a conversation, we go away better Christians than we were beforehand.
“Nobody,” writes Tertullian, “is wiser, more faithful and nobler, than the Christian” (De Praescriptione Haereticorum, 3).
Unfortunately, Saints are rare, whereas evil men are common and idle and foolish men more common still.
“Walk with wise men and you will become wise but the companion of fools, will fare badly” (Prov 13:20).
This does not mean that we should all become hermits, for that is a lofty vocation to which only a few are called.
But, it remains true, that constant chatter with other men is both a waste of time and harmful.
So-called society life is dissipating and disedifying.
Converse with men, when it is necessary, when it is useful and when it is polite to do so.
At such times, let your speech be simple and good and your behaviour edifying.”