Thursday, September 20, 2007


There is a man in the parish who is fond of sarcastic and cutting remarks; he thinks tis funny. He does not see others cringe when these remarks are made. In our Lectio we often take the Catechism of the Catholic Church and study/meditate on Scriptures. One day I found the following directive against sarcasm which the CCC calls "irony"; it makes for a good Examination of Conscience.

CCC 2481 Boasting or bragging is an offense against truth. So is irony aimed at disparaging someone by maliciously caricaturing some aspect of his behavior.

Irony is often expressed through sarcasm. It belittles and disrespects the dignity of another. When a person irritates us, it is all too easy to resort to insults through irony and sarcasm. We need to pray for our enemies and the irritating persons in our lives, not insult them. Matthew 5:43-45 states 43"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”

Examination of Conscience
  • When was the last time we opened ourselves completely to learning from a chance comment?
  • Do I resort to irony and sarcasm whenever someone irritates me?

Psalm 19:13-15

13 Who can detect heedless failings? Cleanse me from my unknown faults. 14 But from willful sins keep your servant; let them never control me. Then shall I be blameless, innocent of grave sin. 15 Let the words of my mouth meet with your favor, keep the thoughts of my heart before you, LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

That's me away.


Michelle-ozark crafter said...

That has a lot of truth in it. I love to joke and laugh and have fun but not by hurting others with comments or anything and I don't like it when others do it.

Anonymous said...

love the post. when teaching we were taught that sarcasm was the lowest form of your blog too..

Kelly Joyce Neff said...

Thank you for this! At Easter, the 'smart witty reply' was my confession. I think the priest was embarrassed, becasue he turned all shades of scarlet. Maybe I hit a nerve (it might be something he did too). But I am conscious of irony as a sin - the very effect of it on others being quite clear to me.

Matthew 5:16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

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