Thursday, September 10, 2009


I am a lifelong Catholic but am sad to say that I have seen devout people carelessly spread rumors, falsehoods and confidential information about others, causing untold harm. It is usually innocent children who suffer the most from rumors and calumny.

In my extended family there has been deep suffering caused by relatives who passed judgment and spread stories, stories which they should not have repeated even if convinced that what they were spreading was indeed the truth. As a young person I was reproached by relatives and people in the community about alleged behaviors of members of my family, as if it were all my fault. I see now it was a means of bullying me into questioning my faith and the path I had chosen. The young often do not see that such reproaches aimed at an innocent person are nothing but a cruel attempt at manipulation, and do not know how to respond. I did not know how to respond then, but I certainly do now.

At any rate, gossip and rumor-mongering have destroyed extended families and church groups; it takes great virtue to live through such an attack but it is possible. Not only is it possible, but it is necessary to be kind and forgiving to our detractors, even if they see kindness as either weakness or condescension, but that is a reflection of their own smallness.


Forward Boldly said...

Sorry to hear about all this, Elena. Please know I've been praying for your intentions.

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you so much, Christine, I greatly appreciate it!!

Mary N. said...

I am sorry that you had to suffer this. I can relate because as a child I too bore this cross. My family was "different" and so was I.
There was a good side to all this, it taught me to be compassionate to others.
The last paragraph: I have seen this in prayer groups,church groups and many places where one would least expect it. This amazes me sometimes as I believe that lack of charity really grieves
the Holy Spirit within us. Sometimes we fail to appreciate the greatest gift of all...Love.

elena maria vidal said...

Mary, you are so right. Such trials teach compassion and also make one not so quick to believe gossip and judge others.

May said...

I am so sorry you had these sufferings. But I am impressed at how sensitive you are to this problem of calumny and detraction, not least in your excellent discussions of Marie-Antoinette.

Anonymous said...

How true this is. Those who engage in calumny, especially intentionally, are indeed small and base. Oh that they could take out the plank from their own eye!

Continued prayers for you,

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