Quotes & Themes – Conversation


Mere silence is not wisdom, for wisdom consists in knowing when and how to speak and when and where to keep silent. (The Spirit of St. François de Sales, XX 2)

Let your speech be gentle, frank, sin­cere, straightforward, candid and faithful. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 30)

It is no virtue to be silent by nature, though it is a virtue to bridle one’s tongue by reason. (Treatise on the Love of God, Book 9, Chapter 7)

There is no way of bad speaking other than too much speaking. (Letters to Persons in the World IV 3)

If charity does not draw us to speak of ourselves and of what belongs to us, we ought to keep silent on the subject. (Letters to Persons in Religion, V 2)

Speak little or not at all of oneself or of what belongs to self. (Letters to Persons in Religion, II 16)

He who talks little of himself does extremely well, for whether we speak of self in excusing ourselves or in accusing ourselves, whether in praising or in dis­praising ourselves, we shall see that our words serve ever as a bait to vanity. (Letters to Persons in Religion, V 3)

We often show more disdain by the expression of our mind than the expression of our face. (Letters to Persons in the World 13)

If we say less than we should it is easy to add, but having said too much it is hard to take it off. (Letters to Persons in the World IV 3)

Be brief when you cannot be good. (Letters to Persons in Religion, IV 33)

Take it as a certain sign that your charity is not genuine if your words, no matter how true, are not charitable. (The Spirit of St. François de Sales, II 12)

It is a sovereign remedy against lying to unsay the lie on the spot. (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part III, Chapter 8)

One kind word wins more willing service than a hundred harsh orders or stern reproofs. (The Spirit of St. François de Sales, VII 9)

Anger is quieted by a gentle word just as fire is quenched by water. (The Spirit of St. François de Sales, II 13)

In order that you may always give good news, entertain others as if you came from the other world, for if you talk to them in the language of the parts where they live, it will be no great news to them. (Letters to Persons in Religion, IV 35)

Be at peace regarding what is said or done in conversations: for if good, you have something to praise God for, and if bad, something in which to serve God by turning your heart away from it. (Letters to Persons in the World, II 11)

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