Kempis continues to tell us about the dangers that come with speaking too much, here getting into the causes of it: settling for bad habits and caring little for the spiritual life (1,10).
Is it not often the case that someone unjustly (see CCC 2477 ff.) speaking ill of another “in confidence” has his diatribe broadcast far and wide with it eventually getting back to the object of the vitriol? This is a very practical case of something hidden coming to light (inspired by today’s Gospel — Mk 4:21-25). This may be the best thing to happen to the person who decided to “vent his spleen” since he has the opportunity to make amends and hopefully learn his lesson through repentance and reparation.
But what about all those times when confidence isn’t broken or evil thoughts are left only to fester inside ourselves? Studies show this is not good for one’s mental, and even physical, health. Worse, this is devastating to one’s spiritual well-being. Retaining this bad habit of judging others’ hearts (see Mt 7:1) impedes, or even harms, one’s spiritual advancement. And if we take this disposition to our graves, the Lord, knowing our hearts, will judge us on it, so it will come to light in front of the Light of the World (see Jn 8:12) when we meet the Lord at death and later for all to see on the last day (see CCC 1039). So, “nothing is secret except to come to light,” eventually.
There is one class of persons to whom we can make this sin known with the assurance that it will never be spread: the priest in Confession. Bring this and all failings to him as often as necessary to receive guidance and grace to overcome these difficulties that are all too easy to fall prey to. It is better to pay now rather than later.
Let us pray that we learn to look on every person as God looks on them: with love.