Benedicencia is “charity in speech“:
The word charity in speech is notably absent from the dictionary. If you try to write it on your computer in a text document, you immediately correct it by changing it charity. If you insist, I will highlight in red as the error. But the real error is that there is the term that indicates the vice, blasphemy, the term does not appear to indicate virtue. The charity in speech lies primarily in speaking well of others. However, not limited to just that. On the one hand, it invites us to silence under the errors and defects of others, on the other hand, encourages us to ponder their qualities and virtues. Jesus urged us to the experience of this virtue when he told his disciples: “Love your enemies , do good to them that hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you “(Lk 6.27 to 28). The teaching of Christianity is not no hate, no cursing, no damage. On the contrary, the Master calls us to work positively, love, praise, pray.
“It is impossible to explain the pain, anger, and exhaustion a mixed episode causes. It is to be filled with rage, at yourself and others and at the world. It is to have so much angry energy inside that you are sure you will explode. The mind can focus on nothing but death and hate. There is no reason. And there is no escape. At least during a depressive episode you can escape in sleep, but when mixed there is no way out. There is no outlet for the fire, no way to ignore the pain of being.”
I have come to understand that the greater my virtue, the less I will be overcome by my disorder during episodes and the more I can manifest benedicencia. To develop virtue, one must turn one’s mind as much as possible to God, and work on developing habits that will, with God’s grace, become virtues strong enough to show through even during insanity. I learned about development of virtue through development of habit from St. Thomas Aquinas.
I learned about being tough when I climbed Mt. LeConte back in 1992…when I was still physically healthy. It is a long way up…and a long way down. I ascended and descended it in one day. I’m glad that I did that when I was healthy. It helps me to remember the experience now when I climb an interior mountain to holiness.
Still, it helps to have friends who will encourage you along the way. Fr. Juan, who I met on Twitter, encourages everyone on Twitter to practice “benedicencia” every Thursday and to use the hashtag #benedicencia. What a great reminder to be charitable on Twitter.
Life is a journey. It is a difficult journey indeed for some. It is good to have reminders on the journey, and it is especially good to have friends who love you enough to encourage you to do the right thing even when it is incredibly difficult for you. Thank you, Fr. Juan, for #benedicencia on Twitter.