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'The fruit of vain talking is this, that it weakeneth the intellect in such wise that it is not ready to receive the truth; even as a horse accustomed to carry but one ounce of cotton flock cannot carry an hundred pounds of stone.
'But what is worse is the man who spendeth his time in jests. When he is fain to pray, Satan will put into his memory those same jests, insomuch that when he ought to weep over his sins to provoke God to mercy and to win forgiveness for his sins, by laughing he provoketh God to anger; who will chastise him, and cast him out.
'Woe, therefore, to them that jest and talk vainly! But if our God hath in abomination them that jest and talk vainly, how evil he hold them that murmur and slander their neighbour, and in what plight will they be who deal with sinning as with a business supremely necessary? Oh impure world, I cannot conceive how grievously thou wilt be punished by God! He, then, who would do penance, he, I say, must give out his words at the price of gold.'
His disciples answered: 'Now who will buy a man's words at the price of gold? Assuredly no one. And how shall he do penance? It is certain that he will become covetous!'
Jesus answered: 'Ye have your heart so heavy that I am not able to lift it up. Hence in every word it is necessary that I should tell you the meaning. But give thanks to God, who hath given you grace to know the mysteries of God. I do not say that the penitent should sell his talking, but I say that when he talketh he should think that he is casting forth gold. For indeed, so doing, even as gold is spent on necessary things, so he will talk only when it is necessary to talk. And just as no one spendeth gold on a thing which shall cause hurt to his body, so let him not talk of a thing that may cause hurt to his soul.