Were I looking for a girl to fill a responsible position, almost my first question would be, “Is she truthful?” Though she might have the knowledge and ability, might make a good appearance and be ever so pleasing in manner, I would not consider her if her word could not be relied upon.
A girl who will not always speak the truth places herself in a position to be continually mistrusted. Nothing will break confidence so quickly as an untruth, and it is hard to get back that which is lost when confidence is gone.
The best advice for any girl is always to speak the truth from the heart; to love and to keep it as her chief possession. So long as she knows in her own heart that she has been true, that she has not borne false witness nor spoken deceitfully she can face the world courageously.
A bulwark of truth is absolutely necessary to solid worth. A character that lacks the foundation is weak, and in time be broken down, no matter how high may be the aspirations and ideals of the girl.
Practical, everyday truthfulness in little things and great things is the only safe course for a girl to pursue. Hold truth fast. Do not let it go. Be honest, be true, and let your words be spoken from the depth of a heart that is not filled with deception.
The really truthful person cannot carelessly break a promise. Her word is sacred, and when she has said that she will or will not do anything, she can be depended upon.
I have heard mothers say of a daughter, “She promised me before she left that she would not go there, and I know she will keep her promise.” Always I have thought, “Oh, happy mother! Your confidence speaks much for your daughter.”
It is so easy to let a promise slip. First, it is given with little consideration. It may be that the girl is pressed to do something which she does not want to do, or is not sure would be right for her to do, and, lacking the courage to say no, she promises lightly, never intending to keep her word. It is the easiest way out of her present perplexity, and she makes her fickle promise never thinking that she is laying a weak plank in her character.
Again, a girl in her thought makes a difference between people. There are certain persons with whom she would be very careful to keep her word, and would be troubled indeed to be compelled to break a promise made to them, while with others she esteems her word lightly.
Keeping faith should be held just as sacred with one as another. A promise to mother or little sister should be kept as strictly as if it were made to the most noted person of the city.
Promises whose breaking would inconvenience others should be strictly kept. If a girl has promised to meet someone at nine o’clock at a certain place, she should, if it is possible at all, be there exactly at nine. If she allows herself to think that quarter- or half-past nine will do just as well, she is actually stealing that much of the other person’s time. That is both dishonest and untruthful.
Another kind of untruth often indulged in is the telling of falsehoods to little children to frighten them into obedience. This is very wrong because of the effect it has upon the character of the one who does it, and upon the child who is thus fooled.
There is no angle of life in which truth is not preferable to prevarication. Too high an estimate cannot be set upon it, nor can it be loved with too great a love.
From How to Raise Good Catholic Children: “Many times God allows it to be hard to pray, simply to school us in applying our wills, to teach us that the value of prayer does not depend on the amount of emotion we can whip up. So when ‘Time for prayers’ is greeted with moans and groans, it’s time to explain that saying prayers when you least want to, simply because you love God and have a kind of dry respect and a sense of obedience, is to gain the greatest merit for them. Many times the saints had trouble getting excited about prayers, but they said them, because prayers were due and their value had nothing to do with how eagerly they went about saying them.” -Mary Reed Newland