Thursday

Why Do People Criticize? (Part One)

When we speak angrily in negative criticism about a person, we attack or cricize in that person not that person's legitimate weakness or misdeed, but instead we attack that person's greatest strength, or gift, to hide that very wrong or flaw in ourselves.

Of course, there are primarily two kinds of criticism. One kind of criticism is good. Another kind of criticism is bad. Good criticism is presented to a listener in love and kindness. Good criticism is thought out beforehand, then shared insightfully. It is criticism meant to do good for the one spoken to. It is information presented in a way that might best be received by the one spoken to for his or her personal wellbeing. Bad criticism, on the other hand, targets the one criticized in a spirit of anger, frustration, impatience and irritation. So, why do we people criticize negatively, I mean the bad criticism? Let us be clear, the reason we criticize in a bad way is "never" to change another. Instead it is to change ourselves. When we as humans criticize in venting rage or anger, we attack in another that other person's greatest gift, in order to conceal an opposite and polarizing flaw or wrong in ourselves. This statement is the first principle in a long beautiful process of understanding true Catholic Christianity. It is the "first brick" in an "entire cathedral" of Catholic historical experience that has transformed men and women into saints, foundations of Christ's Church in a history spanning more than nineteen centuries.

In current psychology it is called an "ego defense mechanism". But no, Sigmund Freud did not invent the concept. It was first spoken by Jesus in His sermon on the mount (Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7). When we criticize another person, (yes, even when that other person is in our family,) we not only harm that other person, but we also destroy something vital in ourselves. I will develop this later, step-by-step, but for now, to begin with, remember: Without fail, every time and continually, whenever we criticize angrily or with sarcasm, we are subconsciously not seeking to change the other person, but are instead seeking to change ourselves in a way that is unhealthy. "Words we speak in anger, attack the very gift, the very strength in another, to hide that precise flaw or wrong in ourselves!"

It is like the art of using a divining rod. When a man cuts a limb from a tree, then uses it to find water in the ground. He walks around holding the forked branch with amazing sensitivity. Finally the man stops and proclaims, "Dig here!!!"

Then again, its like a large wooden ship built and placed on the water. As the waves hurl the ship about, tension and stress scatters about through the structure of the ship, and immediately each board directs tension and stress towards the large beam of wood that is positioned in the center of the ship to absorb that tension and hold the ship together. Without the large beam at the center of the vessel, the ship would fall apart and sink in the sea. In principle, the person criticized is the "beam of wood".

Have you ever wondered why it always seems that people criticize you in certain ways, but but do not seem to do so with others? The group can be your family, your neighbors, your work staff, your classroom, sports team, convent or profession. Sometimes it can almost feel like the whole world got together in a room someplace and decided to talk bad about you equally on the same topic! The reason is, bad criticism, even abuse, Does not happen randomly like a sawed off shot gun, but instead like precise electrical charges from negative and positive electrodes on a battery, the best inside you is attacked, accused or lied about, while the person correctly wrong hides their fault behind the actions of their targeting blame.

You might be a father who's strength is loving your children with all your heart. Yet, lies can be said, your character trashed, and bureaucracy be used to take your children away. You might be a wife who's gift is being patient, loving, innocent, yet experience night and day of being screamed at and humiliated falsely accused of being cruel, heartless, not good enough or not beautiful. You might be a responsible teenager who enjoys making up your bed in the morning, exercising God given responsibility as a natural character trait. Yet, a parent or guardian who is not responsible in an important area of his or her life, may nag and insult you continually for not placing a blanket, sheet or pillow case in the precise location that guardian insists is necessary at the expense of the responsible one's personal integrity replaced with shame.

"And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:3-5)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Instead it is to change ourselves

You lost me on that statement. In what way is it to "change ourselves"? Thanks. Peg

Anonymous said...

Peg:

When you criticize someone you are basically putting someone else down to lift yourself up. For example: Let's say you are overweight and you are in the company of someone who isn't; and, you say to your friend.."look at that woman's hairdo, she needs a good hairdresser". You are being critical openly about her hair; but, internally you had to find something wrong with her because you don't like or are ashamed of yourself for being overweight. It means you had to find something wrong with the person whose physique you desired so you could minimize that with which you don't like about yourself: put down to lift up. God Bless, Lois

Book of Proverbs

(Psychological Scripture Verses:)

" To know wisdom and instruction. to perceive the words of understanding, to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion - a wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of under-standing will attain wise counsel, to understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (1:2-7)

"My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck." (1:8-9)

" For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path. When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you." (2:6-11)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." (3:5-6)

"Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones."
(3:7-8)

"Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her." (3:13-18)

"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror. Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught." (3:24-26)

"Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways; for the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, but His secret counsel is with the upright." (3:31-32)

"Keep your heqrt with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life." (4:23)

"For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword." (5:3-4)

"Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be sispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love." (5:15-19)

"These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren." (6:16-19)

"Reproofs of instruction are the way of life. To keep you from the evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a seductress. Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, nor let her allure you with her eyelids. For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; and an adulteress will prey upon his precious life." (6:23[b]-26)

"Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent." (6:27-29)

"Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away." (6:32-33) "Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men." (7:25-26)

"I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength." (8:12-14) "... he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death." (8:36)

"He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." (9:7-9)

"If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone." (9:12)

"A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the rief of his mother." (10:1)

"Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins." (10:12)

"In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise." (10:19)

"He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace." (11:12)

"Where there is no counsel, the people perish; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." (11:14)

"The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh." (11:17)

"As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion." (11:22)

"An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones." (12:4)

"The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful." (12:5)

"A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." (12:10)

"The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous will come through trouble. A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth." (12:13-14)

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise. A fool's wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame." (12:16)

"... There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health." (12:17[b]-18)

"The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment." (12:19)

"Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy." (12:20)

"Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight." (12:22)

"Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad." (12:25)

"The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray." (12:26)

"He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction." (13:3)


"There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; and one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches." (13:7)

"By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom." (13:10)

"Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored." (13:18)

"He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed." (13:20)

"He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly." (13:24)

"The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands." (14:1)

"Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge." (14:7)

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." (14:12)

"A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, ..." (14:17[a])

"In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge." (14:26)

"He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly." (14:29)

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness." (15:1-2)

"A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit." (15:4)

"Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred." (15:16-17)

"A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention." (15:18)

"A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother." (15:20)

"Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established." (15:22)

"The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and a good report makes the bones healthy." (15:30)

"The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility." (15:33)

"All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits." (16:2)

"Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established." (16:3)

"When a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." (16:7)

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit befor a fall." (16:18)

"Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones." (16:24)

"A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends. A violent man entices his neighbor, and leads him in a way that is not good, he winks his eye to devise perverse things; he purses his lips and brings about evil." (16:27-30)

"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." (16:32)

"Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife." (17:1)

"The refining pot is for silver and the furnce for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts." (17:3)

"He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends." (17:9)

"Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly." (17:12)

"The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts." (17:14)

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." (17:17)

"A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones." (17:22)

"A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him." (17:25)

"He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive." (17:27-28)

"It is not good to show partiality to the wicked, or to overthrow the righteous in judgment." (18:5)

"A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul." (18:7)

"The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body."" (18:8)

"He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him." (18:13)

"The spirit of man will sustain him in sickness. ..." (18:14[a])

"The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him." (18:17)

"A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle." (18:19)

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue." (18:21[a])

"He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord." (18:22)

"A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (18:24)

"He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will find good." (19:8)

"The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression." (19:11)

"A foolish son is the ruin of his father, and the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping." (19:13)

"Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord." (19:14)

"Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction." (19:18)

"A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; for if you rescue him, you will have to do it again." (19:19)

"Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days." (19:20)

"There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the Lord's counsel - that will stand." (19:21)

"What is desired in a man is kindness." (19:22[a])

"He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach." (19:26)

"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise." (20:1)

"It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarel." (20:3)

"Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out." (20:5)

"Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?" (20:6)

"Who can say, 'I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin'"? (20:9)

"There is gold and a multitude of rubies, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel." (20:15)

"Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel." (20:17)

"He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips." (20:20)

"Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in deep darkness." (20:20)

"An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning will not be blessed at the end." (20:21)

"Do not say, "I will recompense evil"; wait for the Lord, and He will save you." (20:22)

"A man's steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand his own way?" (20:24)

"It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy, and afterward to reconsider his vows." (20:25)

"The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart." (20:27)

"The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray head." (2029)

"Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts." (21:2)

"Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death." (21:6)

"Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman." (21:9)

"A gift in secret pacifies anger, and a bribe behind the back strong wrath." (21:14)

"Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman." (21:19)

"Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles." (21:23)

"The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the Lord." (21:31)

"A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold." (22:1)

"By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life." (22:4)

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." (22:6)

"Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; yes, strife and reproach will cease." (22:10)

"Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?" (22:20-21)

"Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul." (22:24-25)

"Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease!" (23:4)

"Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he. 'Eat and drink!' he says to you, but his heart is not with you. The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, and waste your pleasant words." (23:6-8)

"Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words." (23:9)

"Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off." (23:17-18)

"Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old." (23:22)

"The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her who bore you rejoice." (23:24-25)

"My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. For a harlot is a deep pit, and a seductress is a narrow well. She also lies in wait as for a victim. And increases the unfaithful among men." (23:26-28)

"Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: 'They have struck me, but I was not hurt; they have beaten me, but I did not feel it, when shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?" (23:29-35)

"A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; for by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety." (24:5-6)

"If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small." (24:10)

"My son, eat honey because it is good, and the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste; so shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul;" (24:13-14[a])

"... a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity." (24:16)

"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him." (24:17-18)

"It is not good to show partiality in Judgment." (24:23[b])

"He who gives a right answer kisses the lips." (24:26)

"Do not say, 'I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work." (24:29)

"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter." (25:2)

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver, like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear." (25:11-12)

"A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow." (25:18)

"Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint." (25:19)

"It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than a house shared with a contentious woman." (25:24)

"Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls." (25:28)

"Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him." (26:4)

"Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him." (26:12)

"The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly." (26:16)

"He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a dog by the ears." (26:17)

"Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, 'I was only joking!'" (26:18-19)

"Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife." (26:20-21)

"He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself; when he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly." (26:24-26)

"A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin." (26:28)

"Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips." (27:2)

"A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but a fool's wrath is heavier than both of them." (27:3)

"Wrath is cruel and anger is torrent, but who is able to stand before jealousy?" (27:4)

"Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed." (27:5)

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." (27:6)

"Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man's friend gives delight by hearty counsel." (27:9)

"He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it will be counted a curse to him." (27:14)

"A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike; whoever restrains her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand." (27:15-16)

"As in water face reflects face, so a man's heart reveals the man." (27:19)

"Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his foolishness will not depart from him." (27:22)

"The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion." (28:1)

"Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all." (28:5)

"Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich." (28:6)

"Whoever causes the upright to go astrain in an evil way, he himself will fall into his own pit;" (28:10)

"Whoever robs his father or his mother, and says, 'It is no transgression,' the same is companion to a destroyer." (28:24)

"He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, ..." (28:25[a])

"He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." (29:1)

"If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace." (29:9)

"A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back." (29:11)

"The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother." (29:15)

"Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul." (29:17)

"Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him." (29:20)

"An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression." (29:22)

"The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe." (29:25)

"There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother. There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness." (30:11-12)

"This is the way of an adulterous woman; she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, 'I have done no wickedness.' (30:20)

"If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth. For as the churning of milk produces butter, and wringing the nose produces blood, so the forcing of wrath produces strife." (30:32-33)

"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." (31:10-12)

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates." (31:30-31)