Once a teacher gave his 12 years old students a chemistry problem to solve for homework. The next day, the teacher corrected them. One of the students, Rose, had made a mistake. The teacher gave her another opportunity: “you can stay in the classroom during the break in order to figure out your mistake.”
One of her friends, came into the classroom and told her the mistake. Rose, said “thank you.” Then, Rose gave her homework to the teacher. Her friend was watching the teacher as she was correcting Rose’s homework and she realized that Rose did not fix what she had told her. She could not keep her mouth closed and said to her teacher: “I told her, but she did not believe me!”
The teacher asked Rose in surprise: “if she told you the correct answer, why did you not write it down? Did you not believe her?” Rose, looking at her teacher, said: “Yes, I know that she is smarter than me, and I do believe her.” “So?” asked the teacher. “Well, my father said that if I get good grades because I deserve them, that will make him very happy; but if I get good grades because I cheat, those grades are worth nothing, because they are a lie.”
This simple anecdote speaks about truth. Truth or truthfulness is a virtue when someone says what is true. St. Thomas says: “This truth or truthfulness must needs be a virtue, because to say what is true is a good act: and virtue is ‘that which makes its possessor good, and renders his action good.’” (II-II,109,1).
But, more important than that, truthfulness brings us closer to Jesus. Jesus said I am… the truth (Jn 14:6). We cannot belong to Jesus if we are not committed to always telling the truth and avoiding all opportunities to lie.
When we lie, we move away from the truth, which means that we move away from Jesus. Of course, there are lies that put us more distant from the truth and others less distant, but they always make us be far from Jesus, the Truth.
Duplicity is also a sin against truthfulness, since duplicity means that we show one thing outwardly while we have another thing in our heart. If we pretend to do or be something but our intentions are other, we are moving ourselves away from truth.
In order to always be faithful to the Truth we must love the Truth. If we do not love the truth, we will for sure betray the Truth, which means that we will betray Jesus as well. To love the truth means to look for it and to be sure that something is true before repeating it; to be faithful to it to the point of dying for it. Last but not least, to love the Truth means to commit our entire lives to it.