"We are sensitive to words and quickly want to answer back, without taking any regard as to whether it is God's will that we should speak. The silent soul is capable of attaining the closest union with God." - St Faustina
During Adoration I grasped that retorts, defenses, excuses, and other reactions to real or perceived criticisms are weaknesses of two kinds. One is pride and the other is judgment.
Our desire to be justified in everything is giving in to pride. Our weakness in responding is both falling to pride and judgment. How often do we defend ourselves by pointing out the weakness and failures of our accuser? By doing so we render judgment.
It occurs to me that we could, in such moments, imitate Christ when He was mocked and laughed to scorn but responded with silence. When His face was spit upon, He offered no response. What profound effect might our silence have were we to truly imitate Him?
"Where there is pride, I am not there."