Pope Francis on Friday told bishops that division, gossip and money are weapons in the hands of the devil:”

Inviting them never to forget that one of their foremost duties is to respond immediately to the requests and needs of their priests, the Pope warned them against the evils that can wreak damage and destroy their mission to evangelize. …

He spoke of the vocation of the episcopal ministry saying that each bishop is called give testimony of Jesus’s care and love for all men and women also through their own personal example.

And he warned of the dangers that can foil this vocation mentioning specifically the factors that – he said – become weapons in the hands of the devil bent on destroying the Church.

“The devil – he said – has two weapons: the main one is division; the other is money”.

And saying that the devil slips in through one’s pockets and wreaks havoc through ‘the tongue’, Pope Francis described the tendency to gossip as “a terroristic” one.

“He who gossips is a terrorist who throws a bomb” – because gossip, he said, destroys.

Urging those present to fight against divisions which can destroy the local Church and the universal Church, he said there are many difficult challenges to overcome, but thanks to the grace of God, thanks to prayer and thanks to penitence, it is possible.

This has been a recurrent theme from Pope Francis, and one I don’t get tired of hearing. It’s one we all need to hear from time to time.

I have an aversion to small talk, and part of the reason is that I’ve found it to be a gateway toward gossip in many cases—toward casual rumor and innuendo and gossip. It’s something I’m conscious of in my own life and conversation.