A Poorly Spoken Virtue
A virtue that does not even appear in the dictionary.

Author: Samuel Saad | Source:

There is a virtue that is so poorly known that it does not even appear in the dictionary. If you write it in Word, the spell checker will change the word to another word or highlight it in red. It is very likely that you have never even heard of her. On the other hand, its counterpart, the opposite vice, is a frequent topic of conversation in all circles of all races and social strata, a trending topic in social networks, and its consequences are so devastating that Pope Francis has compared them with terrorism.

Respect for the reputation of people forbids any attitude and every word likely to cause them unjust harm (cf CIC can 220). It is made guilty (...) of slander that, for no objectively valid reason, manifests the defects and faults of others to people who ignore them. -Catecism of the Catholic Church, 2477

The benedicencia is the opposite virtue to the slander. Its most basic form is to avoid speaking badly about other people, but it is not limited to this. It is about trying to talk and always think well of others, of spreading their virtues, qualities and achievements.

Slander is the cancer of the Christian life. Wherever it exists, envy, resentment, judgment, distrust, intrigue, division, suspicion and suspicion reign. Benediction, on the other hand, is an apostolate, like that of Jesus Christ who "passed through the world doing good" (Acts 10:38). By applauding all the good that there is in others, a climate of appreciation, trust, good will, collaboration and favors a better development of all the capabilities of a person is created.

In all human beings, there is a tendency to seek in our relationship with others what can fill our needs. We seek in others what we like, but things in our neighbor are almost never as we would like. That is excellent, because the disappointments and imperfections of others force us to love them with an authentic, selfless love and not to expect from others the happiness, fulfillment or fulfillment that we can only find in God. It is necessary to acquire a spiritual autonomy, knowing that my commitment is with God. The fact that others are sinners does not prevent me from becoming a saint, nor do I have the right to judge him.

When we have a contradiction or a problem with someone, we are often inclined to see a bad will on their part and make moral judgments. In truth, most of these situations are simply misunderstandings, communication difficulties or differences in temperament. The devil, in order to make you lose all your spiritual energy, will make you notice a lot of negative things from others. Then it will give you a burden of restlessness, sadness and discouragement, which will gradually undermine your own spiritual impulse.

The benedicencia is not about being a liar, exaggerated or flattering. The flatterer seeks his own interest, dishonestly exaggerating the qualities of others to manipulate and obtain something in return. On the other hand, benedicencia is an authentic, sincere and disinterested recognition of the virtues, successes and achievements of others.

Benedicence, like any virtue, demands a personal conquest; it does not normally occur spontaneously and naturally. It has in its origin another habit even deeper: always think well of our neighbor.

"Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Mt 12,34).

You have to cultivate goodness, to always think well of others and ask God for the grace to see your neighbor as He sees it. You do not have to be dishonest or a liar, but it's better to make a mistake a thousand times giving the benefit of the doubt to your neighbor than to condemn or defame once in false.

No one has the right to hurt the good reputation of others. If forces are to be criticized towards someone (at work, in a project or apostolate, etc.), it must be done only with those who can help or solve the problem and with whom they have the right to know. You have no reason to criticize or speak badly about someone with another person who can not resolve or have anything to do with the problem, because it is a failure of charity. Nor is it justified that, under the pretext of entertaining a conversation, witty or cruel comments or jokes about a person's faults, sacrificing charity for a foolish and cruel satisfaction. It is foolish to believe that this way you will become nice and funny.

If you have not yet decided on what virtue you plan to work on this new year, benedicence is a good option.

"If anyone does not sin with his tongue, he is a perfect man" (Jas 3: 2).

You can add to your daily conscience examination the question "Have I said any anti-charitable comment to others?" And you can place yourself as a daily goal to say at least one positive comment about someone each day.

"Build within your heart a tabernacle to keep there, like a treasure, the good reputation of your brothers, and plant it among others." -Christ to the Center. Thoughts on the spirituality of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi.

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