Dear Mother Mary,
you lived for many years in the little country town of Nazareth.
You had neighbors, good and bad.
And you had occasion to talk about them to other people,
and to listen to what others said about them.
But we know, Mary,
that in all your conversations with your neighbors,
and about them, you never committed the least sin.
Make us realize, dear Mother,
that there are no people who are so bad
that we cannot say something good about them.
Teach us to speak of the good things people do,
instead of the evil.
And when we must speak of the evil deeds,
let us condemn the deed,
and not the doer.
Your own Son died on the cross to wipe away such deeds,
and to save the men that do them.
Help us, when the conversation begins to become harmful to our neighbor,
to turn it to other subjects with prudence and tact.
Mother Mary, you were always a good neighbor.
The very thought of you,
when the temptation to indulge in sinful gossip comes,
will be a great help to us.
You, Mary, are the Mother of Divine Love;
teach us to practice great charity and kindness
in all our dealings with our fellow human beings.