Is this grave matter

i was driving today and my dad i love him and try to not say anything. but he is always goissping about others all the time and while i was driving he really was talking bad about others. I am trying to change because i remember when i was younger i was the same and dont like to goissp and try not to listen any more even thoe i work with alot of women who do…

I got so annoyed and with a bit of anger I said to him i dont want to listen to this anymore. You think you are better then everyone else and your not.

i dont want to commit sin by listening and i dont want him to continue this way. but i felt i had to say something to him to try and get him to relize what he is saying about others.

have I commit a grave sin by talking to him this way. i’m 26 years of age talking to a 60 i think years of age.

can i still take communion. i went to confession yesterday and i fell like i stuffed everything up.

dads can be ruff little girl. I am a dad too and we try for peace all the time. :slight_smile:

buy your self some ritz. WAAAAAy better than communion anyhow. that stuffs too dry.

hope you feel better.

You didn’t 'stuff everything up".
You probably held in your emotions long enough for them to come out a little explosively, but your basic idea was right. It would have been better, of course, to have told your Dad in a calm and reasonable manner that you dislike gossip and judgement of others, but obviously you were reacting emotionally.

Perhaps you can apologise to your Dad for being less than charitable in how you objected, and state your case more calmly, but probably you shouldn’t expect him to be too glad about it anyway. You sounded as if you were judging him if he doesn’t like that perhaps he can understand that others don’t like being judged either.

Basically, you do owe your Dad an apology for the way you dealt with the problem. You’re not responsible for his reaction to your apology. It’s sufficient that you apologise and try to deal with it more calmly if there is a next time. There possibly will be as your father may have some resentment and anger towards others, some bitterness perhaps about humanity.

It’s wonderful that you wish to be charitable towards others. I know that this will please the God who asked us to love others as we love ourselves, and taught us that our practical charity to others separates those who join Him in heaven from those who don’t. Matthew 25 verses 31-46] Pray for your Dad. He is doubtless kind in other ways.

So apologise to Dad for your manner, whether he feels like listening or not, his feelings may be hurt, and apologize to God…and there’s no reason why you can’t go the Communion.

Just pray that your words will have woken up your Dad, and hopefully caused him to think. Jesus spoke abruptly at times, as in the temple, and to those who were hypocrites. He did so to teach.

I do have a few reflections I wrote on charitable response to others and rightly or wrongly it occurs to me to include them or some of them to encourage you in your intention to view others charitably. I’ve posted them elsewhere at times.

Judgement of others

Jesus, please alert us when we are tempted to judge other people. Our judgements may be based on another’s opinion, on flimsy evidence or on past observations, without full knowledge of someone’s situation and nature.

Even if others appear to blatantly sin, we cannot judge them according to Your vision. Please give us grace to extend impartiality and compassion to all others, friend, foe or stranger.

We cannot know others’ motivations or all the influences affecting them, so we have doubtless misjudged others more frequently than we realise. Give us grace to avoid unkind or scandalous gossip.

Enlighten those who see a few incidents or an isolated occurrence or appearance, even from years past, and then presume to make a permanent judgement like “he always does this.” “She always is like that.” “He is that sort of person.” How unjust to judge others in this way! Even if former perceptions happen to be accurate, who can judge that any person has not advanced in wisdom or grace!

If we defend victims of misjudgement, some accusers reconsider their opinion, while others cling to prejudice. Some people believe that their subjective view of people, reality, and events is the only valid one; therefore, we cannot expect them to be open to contrary evidence or testimony. They honestly believe that their judgements are correct. They seem not to be fully responsible for the injustice of their viewpoints.

We cannot judge even these people for perhaps they suffer from personal insecurity or desire for ascendancy over others, due to immaturity or low self-esteem. Their lack of respect and compassion may be hurtful to someone we love or respect, but let us respond with Christian maturity, without besmirching their reputations. Please expand their mental and emotional maturity so that with just and empathetic understanding of others, they—and we—may make reparation for the reputation and welfare of anyone who has been maligned or misjudged.

We trust in Your love to pardon us and to greatly bless anyone we have sinned against by judgement or unkindness. Jesus, help us truly to love our sisters and brothers, whether or not we understand them.

Judge you, my brother?

God, eternity waits for those who live the gospel to truly share in Your delight in each person. With You, we will rejoice in everyone who accepts Christ’s invitation to follow Him with prayer, penance and generosity!

How profound is the giving required by that person, and this! What happiness, what anguish is known there! What temptation is encountered! What sensitivities enfeeble or enrich and sanctify that life! How great is Your glory in the strange or ordinary facts and struggles of their existence! Yet, how can we know?

We err in applying rules of private interpretation to another’s intention or act, except as feeble measure for our compassion and charity. Only by one’s private consciousness—unless enlightened by Your Spirit of love—can each see what lies in another’s soul.

Each person is a unique expression of Your love, an individual world, some great, and some miniature, separate in existence and consciousness, yet united in You. Yet how quickly do we judge each other! We offer You our hurt and theirs in prayer for healing and forgiveness.

Let us not belittle or betray, in thought, or by gossip—the seemingly sinful, the apparently misled or foolish, or those perceived to be ugly, or crippled in mind or spirit. Let us celebrate their preciousness in You. Let us no longer sin against Your sacred love and creation in anyone by our judgements however seemingly justified.

Let Your Holy Spirit know and love each other person through us, with sensitivity to their emerging needs. Give us compassion for each other, however perplexed or inaccurate our perception, so that we revere each other—and ourselves—as individuals sacred to You.

Through Your Spirit, we can offer appreciation, justice and love to each other as we wait humbly on the full vision of Your meaning, purpose, and love of each person, in the final translation that follows death. Let us serve and intercede for each other person as loved child of God, in glad, trusting welcome.

Prayer for understanding of others

Jesus, please open us to receive each other with love, so that we no longer betray God’s Love that re-creates us in each moment of life. Reveal to us our sins against charity, and heal us of fears and prejudices that lead to judgement of others.

How easily even the generous Christian reduces others to categories, judging them with unconscious pride and lack of empathy! How carelessly, with convincing appraisal and bias, we dismiss others in their seeming sin, error or foolishness. How often we misjudge them in their difficulties and achievements, and underestimate their intrinsic worth as persons!

Jesus, please forgive us that we presume to deal uncharitably with anyone! Each person is Your own creation lovingly spoken out of Yourself in the private language of love chosen for each alone! No matter how different from one’s own character or journey, the path and meaning of each person is treasured mystery hidden within You!

Let us share in Your love for others, rejoicing in Your image within them whether evident or not. Let us reverence our dissimilarity and their individuality. Let us be respectful and discreet in our helpfulness. Have mercy on our prayer and goodwill for them, so that we may love them with Your Love. Jesus, I am so sorry for the times I fail to love others wisely and respectfully.

Loving others

Our God, through Your Spirit, please let me respond to others with Your sensitivity and compassion.
Help me to listen, so that I hear both what is spoken and what it conceals of others’ needs.
Help me to recognise others’ unique personality and value. I want to present to others the gift of themselves as You create and perceive them, so that they may come to see themselves in beautiful, humble trust, as cherished gifts of Your love.

I do not wish to curtail Your blessings to others through doubt, insensitivity or selfishness. Please grant others all the graces and support that You require for them. Despite my infidelities let me be Your love, blessing and response made sacramentally present to everyone in my life, whether I understand or not!

I cannot fathom Your vision of my life and theirs, but I honour Your love and wisdom in Your dealings with them. Please mercifully complete what You have begun, granting us grace to submit, trustingly, contritely and joyfully to Your loving creative will.

In all my prayers, contacts and dealings let Your Spirit speak and respond in me to You. Thank You, God who loves us all.

Appreciating others

Loving God, I honour others for their goodness. Yet, help me to share Your compassion, respect and delight in those who seem (to themselves or others)to reflect Your face poorly. Grant me the gift of conveying to each person, the beautiful, glimpsed vision of self, as You love him or her, a fallible human with entwined faults and virtues.

One sometimes glimpses another’s discouraged self-judgement, for he fears that Your plan of salvation builds upon some unlikely ‘ideal self’. He perhaps hopes that to others, only the good is evident. He fears that were others to sense the extent of his unworthiness, they may reject him—as indeed he fears You may.

Jesus, please extend Your hand to him through those who see his efforts and who have faith in the secret, unique miracle of him. Let him know that You love him as he is, and that You plan his holiness around his actual self. You fulfil Your dream of him and serve others through his flawed personality with its abilities, gifts and virtues, along with its faults and scars.

Assure him that his efforts to live the Gospel are more precious because of his temptations and flaws, so that he is encouraged to faith and self-acceptance.

Loving God please let me see and share Your beautiful, unique, creative vision of each brother and sister, regardless of ‘apparent’ flaws. In my warm acceptance of him grant to each person that restoring, blossoming fruitfulness of love—which the image of him cherished and accepted as he really is—produces in the most barren and bleak heart. 1982 My brother, “Do not be afraid, you will not be put to shame.” [Isaiah 54:4]


My dear, I love you,
but the reasons matter not.
One cannot argue with the fact of love
which is entirely of the stuff of God.

Yet, my dear, we sometimes seem estranged!
my thought and heart have failed to closely match your own
and we leave each other alien for a while–
even perhaps wounded for life–
though both are imaged in love of the same eternal God!

**The wonder perhaps is that we meet at all
for each created being is possessed of logic,
of identity unique within itself
which only appears reflected in others’ lives and thoughts
for none can know or judge but by a private consciousness.

Each soul remains hidden within divine Love’s mysteries
manifest in wondrous individual expression.
It is a whole world, formed and blessed,
and burdened with heavy crosses, perhaps?
a world in value, goodness and giving apparently slight?
yet perhaps its’ all–the sum of what God grants it
for His own secret delight!

After death many surprises await,
of treasure buried in simple human hearts
concealed perhaps in ugly shapes, foolish deeds and ordinary lives
and in lives that others might choose to brush aside or to crush
as crippled, useless, unbalanced, peculiar, unwanted, unworthy…

He miniaturises His special created delights sometimes–
persons negligible even to themselves.
And it pleases Him that our least ones He shall exalt
before the vast and great and good.**

From Him alone
comes union and mutual understanding of souls, minds and hearts.
True comprehension waits upon
the fullness of eternal communion, begun in Eucharist.
Until then I only know, like you, the truths as I allow Him
to speak them in my limited, biased self.

I cannot know and love you, dear, nor you myself,
unless God grants this gift.
This does not mean that I do not love you.
Just that I love the best that I can.
Forgive me all the rest. And I, you too.

**Anyway, that’s enough of all that. I just wanted to affirm you as strongly as I could, that you are on the right path, but you, like me and many of us need to grow in our own charitable understanding and responses, and that we makes mistakes sometimes, as you did in your manner but not in your basic message, unconsciously you judged your Dad, which is understandable and very human, because our enlightenment and growth in charity doesn’t happen straight away of without effort.

God’s grace inspired you to desire charity and will help you grow in charity, so be patient with yourself. Love, Trishie **

No, you did not commit a grave sin, i.e. a mortal sin.

A sin is mortal only when it is entirely incompatible with the love of God and neighbor.

From the Compendium of the Catechism

  1. When does one commit a mortal sin?


One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace, and, if unrepented, leads us to the eternal death of hell. It can be forgiven in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of Baptism and of Penance or Reconciliation.

  1. When does one commit a venial sin?


One commits a venial sin, which is essentially different from a mortal sin, when the matter involved is less serious or, even if it is grave, when full knowledge or complete consent are absent. Venial sin does not break the covenant with God but it weakens charity and manifests a disordered affection for created goods. It impedes the progress of a soul in the exercise of the virtues and in the practice of moral good. It merits temporal punishment which purifies.

*I would say to apologize to your father out of respect. But you only expressed yourself and did nothing wrong.

Nothing is more depressing and damaging than listening to or participating in gossip. I have a few relatives and friends who swim in it. When I’m in their company, I control the conversations because I don’t want to hear any negative nonsense about other people. You cannot change another person. I’ve brought this to their attention before and the only thing it did was cause an argument. So, for me, controlling the conversation and keeping the talk positive is the best approach.

God bless you!*

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