All these postings begin with the letter “R” for no specific reason, but it serves as a prompt (or maybe it’s a growl) for thoughts. This title, “relationships,” feels like it should be in all-caps.

I’m tempted to use cliches, and may have to resort to one or two because relationships, like people, can be complicated. Or complex. The beauty, awe, and what feels like simplicity, in the best sense of the word, comes from seeking Christ, a relationship with Christ, a good relationship with Christ; joyous.

Today, the phrase “I give you my WORD” kept echoing in my heart as a call to reflect on the sound of it and experience of it when it comes from people I love and trust compared to hearing it from God. Sometimes we humans lie and are lied to.

I have to reflect on this. It may be a key to forgiveness, starting with myself. The phrase itself is powerful in that we respond strongly to it, or any other oath. If it is used to manipulate trust the consequences are truly heartbreaking when the truth is revealed. So, it can strike caution, or even terror, in the heart when we hear it from someone who tries to be sincere but leans toward deceit.

That’s not a revelation. My guess is most people have believed, in the moment, because we love someone, we champion each other toward doing the right things, etc., etc., that we are being told the truth. Somehow, we’re not surprised when promises are broken, though. And we can internalize anger at ourselves for having been fooled.

We certainly lie to ourselves, too. Resolutions can sour into revolutions even though we have given ourselves our WORD. Or, we let others down, way down, if we break our word. The intention, in both cases, may have been sound and sincere in the moment.

The seed for these thoughts may have come from the readings at Mass the other day regarding the need for God to play a role in our lives and in our hearts because the human heart is unpredictable, and often treacherous. But not God’s, not God’s.

So I will thank Him for His Word. And as I get to know St Benedict every day, through absorbing his Rule, I thank him, also.

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