13 June 2007

A chicken and its egg

I know I just missed his Feast Day, but this sums up my thoughts for the day. St. Philip is becoming one of my more favorite saints the more I learn about him.

St. Philip Neri once gave this penance to a gossipy penitent:

On one occasion, when a woman confessed to him her love of gossip and spreading slander and scandal and asked him how she could cure herself of the habit, he replied: "Go to the nearest market-place, buy a chicken just killed, and pluck its feathers all the way as you come back to me." Greatly astonished, she did what he asked, and returned to him with the plucked chicken. "Now go back," he said, "and bring me all the feathers you have scattered." "But I cannot," she replied, "that is impossible. I cast the feathers carelessly and the wind carried them away. How can I recover them?" He answered: "You cannot. And that is exactly like your words of scandal. They have been carried about in every direction. You cannot recall them. Go and slander no more."

(A chicken has about 12,000 feathers.)
(I saw several versions of this quote, but this one is from Saints of the Day

And, also words of St. Philip Neri:
"A joyful heart is more easily made perfect than one that is cast down."

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