Friday, January 14, 2011

A Soul in Purgatory Because of Sins of the Tongue

Another fault against which we must guard, because we so easily fall into it, is the unmortification of the tongue. Oh ! how easy it is to err in words! How rare a thing it is to speak for any length of time without offending against meekness, humility, sincerity, or Christian charity! Even pious persons are often subject to this defect; when they have escaped all the other snares of the demon, they allow themselves to be taken, says St. Jerome, in this last trap--slander. Let us listen to what is related by Vincent de Beauvais. 

When the celebrated Durand, who, in the eleventh century, shed lustre on the Order of St. Dominic, was yet a simple Religious, he showed himself a model of regularity and fervour ; yet he had one defect. The vivacity of his disposition led him to talk too much ; he was excessively fond of witty expressions, often at the expense of charity. Hugh, his Abbot, brought this under his notice, even predicting that, if he did not correct himself of this fault, he would certainly have to expiate it in Purgatory. Durand did not attach sufficient importance to this advice, and continued to give himself, without much restraint, to the disorders of the tongue. After his death, the prediction of the Abbot Hugh was fulfilled. Durand appeared to a Religious, one of his friends, imploring him to assist him by his prayers, because he was frightfully punished for the unmortification of his tongue. In consequence of this apparition, the members of the community unanimously agreed to observe strict silence for eight days, and to practise other good works for the repose of the deceased. These charitable exercises produced their effect; some time after Durand again appeared, but now to announce his deliverance.

~ Excerpt from Purgatory: Illustrated by the Lives and Legends of the Saints
 by Fr. F.X. Shouppe, S.J. ~

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