Vincentian Candor 101

Is the world awash in duplicity?

When was the last time you heard the media report an incredulous story? Did you hear an inner voice say, “Now, I’ve heard it all!” Such occurrences seem more frequent these days than in the past.

The age of disputed questions did not end with Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth-century. The chicaneries of seventeenth-century France prompted Saint Vincent de Paul to exclaim, “The world is awash in duplicity.” (CCD, 10:58) The saint encouraged his collaborators to “have a candid heart and candid spirit.” (Ibid.) He instructed them how to engage appropriately in public discourse and civic rhetoric. They were “never to say anything contrary” to what they thought or to their principles. (CCD, 10:286)

Now, as does a toxin, polemical disputation permeates our national psyche. We are left to ask, What must be done? Perhaps Vincentian personalism is our answer. It promotes unity in diversity and emphasizes the common good of everyone. The Vincentian way is honest, forthright, and employs the art of conversation to speak respectfully and listen attentively with a “spirit of straightforwardness and simplicity,” and ultimately, integrity. (CCD, 34a:41)

 

Reflection by:

Betty Ann McNeil, D.C., Vincentian Scholar-in-Residence
Vincentian Studies Institute, Division of Mission and Ministry

Citation:
Conference 66, Secretiveness, CCD, 10:58; Conference 86, Uniformity, CCD, 10:286; Conference 34a, Simplicity with Crafty Persons, CCD, 34a:41.

One thought on “Vincentian Candor 101

  1. I hope our students read this and take it to heart. I fear the art of listening has diminished to near extinction.

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