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August 27, 2015 by  
Filed under Carmelite Spirituality, Dan Burke, Divine Intimacy, Truth



Presence of God – Give me, O Lord, an open, sincere heart, loving the truth, seeking and desiring it at any cost.


“Lord, who shall dwell in Thy tabernacle, or who shall rest in Thy holy hill?” asks the Psalmist. And he gives the answer: “He that walketh without blemish, and worketh justice” (Ps 15:1,2).

God is truth, and no one can be admitted to His intimacy who does not strive as much as he can, to live in truth and to be sincere in all his actions. First of all, we must seek to possess truth in the depths of our heart, that we may know ourselves as we really are in the eyes of God, stripped of all disguise and artificiality. To do this we must accept, not only the truths which please us, but also those which are painful and wound our pride to the quick, revealing our faults and evil tendencies. A person who is sincere never closes his eyes to these truths, but values them, even if they are Sincerity ZurbaranStJohnoftheCrosshumiliating, knowing that humiliation which reveals the truth is worth more than illusion which flatters pride and keeps us in error. Sometimes God permits difficult circumstances which are especially hard and trying for the practice of virtue, that we may see the truth and know ourselves as we really are. Under the onset of contradiction, we experience movements, hitherto unknown, surging up within us: movements of anger, rebellion, selfishness, from which perhaps we had had the illusion that we were free. In such cases, instead of turning our gaze away, it is necessary to have the courage to recognize these faults and confess them, humbly and frankly. St. John of the Cross speaks of certain pious souls who, in confession, “palliate [their sins] and make them appear less evil, and thus … excuse themselves rather than accuse themselves” (cf. Dark Night of the Soul, I, 2, 4). A soul that loves the truth is very far from acting in this way; even if it has only venial sins and imperfections of which to accuse itself in confession, it exposes them all very sincerely, without magnifying or minimizing them, never blaming circumstances, but only itself for all that is faulty. Sincerity in confessing our faults is the first step toward freeing ourselves from them.


“O Lord, if I wish to reach You, who are the Way, the Truth, and the Life, I must travel the road of truth, without any pretense or dissimulation, renouncing reason that has been darkened by self-love and human respect. I must act with simplicity, wholly dying to myself and to creatures. Teach me, O eternal Truth, how to act sincerely and frankly. Let my soul, simple as a dove, fly to You to build its nest in Your heart, and nourish itself with the knowledge of You and of itself; thus despising its own malice, it will find nothing in itself to satisfy it, and therefore, it will be unable to stay far away from You, not finding where to repose outside of You. Teach me to walk in the straight path of truth without stopping, but always advancing, hurrying and running swiftly, in order to follow You, eternal Truth, my guide and my way” (St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi).

“O Lord, let Thy truth teach me, let Thy truth guard me, and keep me till I come to a happy end. Let the same deliver me from all evil affections. I confess my sins to Thee with great compunction and sorrow; never permit me to esteem myself for my good works. I am indeed a sinner, subject to, and entangled with many passions. I always tend to nothing, I fall quickly, I am quickly overcome, easily disturbed and discouraged. I have nothing in which I can glory, but many things for which I ought to humble myself, for I am much weaker than I am able to comprehend.

“Teach me, O Lord, to admire Thy eternal truth, and to despise my own exceeding vileness” (The Imitation of Christ, III, 4,2-4).



Note from Dan: This post on Sincerity is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.

Art:  St. John of the Cross, Francisco de Zurbarán, 1656, PD-US, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • RobinJeanne

    There’s a difference between “allowing” an”causing”. God allows things, just as a parent allows the child to fall off the bike when he/she first begins to learn. Not because the parent is evil but because if they don’t allow it,if they support the bike always for the child, the child will never learn to ride a bike. When I went through my suffering, what kept me going was know that this was for my greater good. showing me my faults and weaknesses, so that I could be rid of them. God allowed His own Son to suffer and be torchered yet it was for the greatest good of human history, the opening of the gates of heaven and restoring our relationship with God. When I went through my suffering, if felt the Lord speak to me, telling me He knew what was coming and when I cried, He cried with me. He gets no pleasure to see us suffer.

  • Ted Sugges

    Looking inside our selves to discover the truth – good and bad – is necessary if we ever intend to open our hearts to God. Recognizing that any suffering we may be going through is allowed by God to teach us a lesson is important too. If the lesson is learned, it brings us closer to Him. But I think these are essentially private things between us and God. Perhaps we’re given these trials so we can share them later in our efforts to help someone else. It seems to me that these lessons are lost if we don’t use our experiences to help others. I also wonder why we spend so much time talking about our sufferings. The flipside of that same coin is all the time we spend in joy and wonder. The beauty of a sunrise, the joy of a baby’s giggle, the wonder of a starfilled night sky, the bliss of successfully overcoming a trial. These are all gifts, I think, we somehow seem to often to overlook to often. Then again, that might be another devotion I either missed or one that’s being planned. I’m a new member, who hopes he didn’t assume to much or to little. God Bless and Take Care or Each of You, my new friends.

  • marybernadette

    ‘It’s very interesting that the whole of this last week is about the ‘sincerity of our motives.’ The Lord knows our weaknesses and is patient with us even our ‘sins’ as we can profit from them by sincere repentance, knowing that we cannot depend on ourselves but on The Lord and HIs Grace. I get great consolation from the ‘diary of St. Faustina’ as the Lord told her, it pleased him more that she humbly confessed a sin she committed, than if she had not committed it in the first place..

  • LizEst

    Dear Andi, Thank you for your comment.

    I want to be very frank with you. Your second paragraph is very troubling. Although God permits things to happen to bring a greater good out of a situation, be assured that the Lord never counsels, commands or insinuates that a person should harm another person. To begin with, it goes against his commandment of loving God and neighbor. Secondly, it goes against the 5th Commandment: Thou shalt not kill. You were not listening to God the other day at adoration. You were listening either to your own internal voices or to the devil. Please get help by talking to a priest about this and/or seeking assistance from a Catholic therapist. You can search for one here:

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