This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritual Communion with God by Michael Dubruiel. The previous posts are below and in the archives to the right. This is the 24th step:
(24) Not to entertain deceit in the heart.
Our Lord is the way, the truth and the life. Anything that tempts us toward falseness is not of Him. Again, St. Benedict warns us not even to "entertain" the idea of deceit in our emotions, symbolized by the heart.
Everyone deserves the truth. As Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and it shall set you free."
Unfortunately many people do not believe that the truth is helpful to others. To quote a phrase from the movie A Few Good Men, that was a favorite of students that I once taught Ethics to, "You can't handle the truth," seems to be most people's guiding principle.
Doctors are not honest with patients who come to them expecting honesty. Parents, sometimes keep the truth from their children, leading them to search for it elsewhere. Even bishops now are not known for standing for the truth but rather hiding and trying to conceal it.
The result of such deceit lives with us for years. It destroys our capacity to trust. One can see how it could destroy a tight knit community like a monastery, but we should not let that excuse us.
A meditation on the effects of deceit that we have been on the receiving end might help us to appreciate why as St. Benedict counsels us, we should not even entertain the idea of being that way to anyone.
Everyone deserves the truth. The truth is a good and valuable commodity. Whatever perceived good we might think that hiding the truth from someone might bring, usually back fires.