Happy New Year. Be blessed and be a blessing!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Is Gossiping A Sin?

This is an interesting excerpt I got from "Doubt", a play by John Patrick Shanley.

A woman was gossiping with a friend about a man she hardly knew - I know none of you have ever done this - and that night she had a dream. A great hand appeared over her and pointed down at her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O'Rouke, and she told him the whole thing, "Is gossiping a sin?" she asked the old man. "Was that the Hand of God Almighty pointing a finger at me? Should I be asking your absolution? Father, tell me, have I done something wrong?" (Irish brogue) "Yes!" Father O'Rouke answered her. "Yes, you ignorant, badly brought-up female! You have borne false witness against your neighbor, you have plated fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed!" So the woman said she was sorry and asked for forgiveness. "Not so fast!" says O'Rouke. "I want you to go home, take a pillow up on your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me!" So she went home, took the pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escapte to the roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old priest as instructed. "Did you gut the pillow with the knife?" he says. "Yes, Father." "And what was the result?" "Feathers," she said. "Feathers"? he repeated. "Feathers everywhere, Father!" "Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out on the wind!" "Well," she says, "it can't be done. I don't know where they went. The wind took them all over." "And that," said Father O'Rouke, "is a gossip!" In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost, Amen.


It is clear from the play that it is very much influenced by the Catholicism (the practice of confession and the end prayer). It's a very interesting play, for those who are interested.

1 comment:

helen said...

This is really an interesting post. At times, we are ignorant of the consequences of gossiping. Or maybe we give various excuses for ourselves to justify gossiping, like "I just want to let everything dissatified out..."

Leen, thanks for this wonderful insight. Gossiping is indeed not good and should not be practised.