The virtue of the month for Challenge and Conquest in September is honesty. Honesty is an important virtue for us all to live because it is the foundation of every relationship we have – with God, with our family and with our friends. Honesty is to live and speak the truth. God wants us to be sincere and truthful with people. It means living and being who God created us to be. You can’t choose who you are honest with and who you are not. That is duplicity. With social media and cyberbullying, it is easy to have an online persona that is not the real you.
The 8th commandment tells us how important honesty is to God. Being honest does not mean saying everything that is on your mind. You need to be mature enough to know how to differentiate between truth and your opinions. Most times we are sharing our opinions and not an objective truth. Objective truth is something that would be true no matter who says it (or something that is true outside the subject.) Subjective truth is something that is or seems true to one person (one subject). For example, would it be dishonest to not tell someone that you think their shirt is ugly? That is an opinion that you have about their shirt. Someone else may really like it, and obviously the person wearing it does. So honesty is not to speak your mind and your opinions without a filter. It is to tell the objective truth and be an example of truth.
Try to reflect before speaking to determine whether your words will build up or tear down another person. Slander or gossiping is a form of dishonesty because many times we spread rumors that may not be true. A sincere person is honest and true in all he or she does and says. We can’t develop a relationship with someone if we can’t trust them. Jesus defined himself as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He says that the devil is “the father of lies.” Insincerity distances us from Christ. You can lie with your actions and not just your words by pretending to be someone you are not. You begin to believe your lies and then the snowball effect kicks in, leading you to become someone you never wanted to be. Pope Francis said recently, ” In Jesus , I have met the one is able to bring out the best in me.” Honesty is a virtue that grows as our friendship with God does. Prayer and the sacraments help us to be more honest people.
On the back of the Challenge holy card for September is a beautiful prayer from St Mother Teresa. Purity and honesty go hand in hand. Try to pray this special prayer this month.