«The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered» (Proverbs 11:9).
Toledo is one of the most emblematic cities in Spain. Walking its streets is to traverse through centuries of history. The city was the center of the powers of the Roman leaders, the Muslims and the Christians. For many years, the coexistence of Jews, Christians, and Muslims was part of life in Jerusalem of the west, as it is known. But one day the Holy Inquisition would arrive, driven by Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabel of Castile, the so-called Catholic monarchs, after having expelled Jews and Arabs from Spain. The institution sowed terror in the Iberian lands and was responsible for persecuting, torturing, and assassinating people who were accused of having different opinions than those of the Catholic Church. Tolerance ceased to exist in Toledo. Those who used to be friendly neighbors had now become enemies. Zocodover Square became the scene of death and cruelty. There were carried out several acts of faith that ended the lives of many people.
It was enough for the inquisitors to have a slight accusation from a neighbor, a friend, or a relative against a person to unleash their fury on the defendant. Entering an inquisition prison was almost giving up life. In addition, the process against a suspect was secret, as they did not even know who the informants and accusers were. Nor was an interrogation given to witnesses or experts of all the parties involved in the process. The minutes were not allowed to be seen, so that the preliminaries were not known. An appeal to an independent tribunal was useless. In other words, the goal of the process was not to find out the truth, but the submission to Roman doctrine, which was identified as the only truth.
Those who were able to leave a prison of the Inquisition forever carried the imprint of the tribunal on their health (many remained with injuries for life), their economic situation (they were obliged to pay fines that left them ruins), and their reputation (they were obliged to wear a san benito, a garment of reproach, for a while). But it all started with a comment against a person. Many people took advantage of those circumstances to harm their neighbors and avenge old quarrels or channel personal envy.
Do you realize the damage you can cause with your words? It’s so easy to readily talk and criticize others. That is how the lives of many people are destroyed.
Today ask God to help you not to make negative comments toward others. He will help you.