St. Vincent de Paul's Guidelines for Facebook and Comment Boxes

Do you think St. Vincent had Facebook and comment boxes in mind?

Jesus, the Lord, expects us to have the simplicity of a dove (see Matthew 10:16).  This means giving a straightforward opinion about things in the way we honestly see them, without needless reservations.  It also means doing things without double-dealing or manipulation, our intention being focused solely on God.  Each of us, then, should take care to behave always in the spirit of simplicity, remembering that God likes to deal with the simple, and that he conceals the secrets of heaven from the wise and prudent of this world and reveals them to little ones.

But while Christ recommends a dove's simplicity, he also tells us to have a serpent's prudence.  He means that we should speak and behave with discretion.  We ought, therefore, to keep quiet about matters which should not be made known, especially if they are unsuitable or unlawful.  When we are discussing things which it is good and proper to talk about we should hold back any details which would not be for God's glory, or which could harm some other person, or which would make us foolishly smug.

In actual practice this virtue is about choosing the right way to do things.  We should make it a sacred principle, then, admitting no exceptions, that since we are working for God we will always choose God-related ways for carrying out our work, and see and judge things from Christ's point of view and not from a worldly-wise one; and not according to the feeble reasoning of our own mind. - St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) Voices of the Saints by Bert Ghezzi

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