Father Eugene Hemrick

Father Eugene Hemrick

“Niles, how is everything going?” I asked our superintendent of education.

“Gene, it would be great if only there weren’t people,” he replied.

Life can be a friend, but it also can be an enemy. “People conflicts” are everywhere: differing opinions, touchiness, envy, jealousy and hatred. As long as we live, life will be a battle for balance and unity.

Increased suicides make us wonder about today’s disunity. Is it causing heightened anxiety, depression and little desire to live? Where do we find harmony in an advanced civilization that seems to be dramatically regressing?

The answer comes from Christ the Truth. As wonderful as it is, imitating Christ-like truth is never easy.

As a child, my mother would often sternly admonish me, “Tell me the truth!” I remember how I feared getting whacked if I came clean.

The consequences of being truthful aren’t always welcomed. And yet it’s the heart of our humanity that is at its best when we exude it.

On the other hand, our humanity is at its worst when our consciousness of truth is broken, so that we no longer are able to say, “In all honesty, this is so … this is not so.”

I have ministered to couples who were in love when suddenly one or the other no longer felt love. A relationship filled with intimate feelings and dreams of living life together is crushed, and oh, the confusion of where to turn next.

The best advice is found in the principle: “In all honesty, this is so … and in all honesty this is not so.” Facing the truth contains immense power for dignifying distasteful situations. It also creates freedom because truthfulness releases inhibitors to openness, thus clearing the air.

Could the reason many feel down these days be frustration with not learning the real truth and feeling duped? If so, how might we combat these anxieties best?

Christ might advise, “Start first with: How truthful you are with yourself? Do you hide truth from God and those around you, fearing you will get whacked if you come clean? How firmly do you believe truth and openness make us free and better able to handle the angst of untruthfulness?”

Practicing self-truth spills over into our work, family, government and church, generating the strength needed to fight today’s falsehoods and dishonesties.