Word Magazine April 1967 Page 11


By Father Vladimir Berzonsky

Holy Trinity Church, Parma, O.

“When the Spirit of Truth comes,He will guide you into all the truth.”

(St. John 16:13)

“I will praise the Lord as long as I live;

1 will sing praises to my God while I have being.

Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no help.

When his breath departs, he returns to the dust; on that very day his plans perish.

Happy is he whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who keeps his faith forever.”

(PSALM 146)

Like familiar theme notes surging through a symphony, one thought reappears throughout the book of Psalms, and indeed everywhere in the Holy Bible. That theme is — put not your trust in men, but rely only in God, for He will never fail you or forsake you.

How painful a lesson it is, yet each person must learn by experience that no human is to be trusted unconditionally.

God made man a complex being, full of potential, both good and evil. Because he has freedom of choice, his decision is his alone to make. Man is exciting, often contradictory, and impossible to anticipate.

The difficulty we have in relations to other people lies in the fact that mankind is neither totally trustworthy, nor altogether unreliable. We must learn to trust others conditionally, knowing that they are capable of rejecting the “right” and choosing the “wrong,” and under given conditions they will do so.

The people I write of are not mankind in general, not the stranger or your neighbor, but the one you see across the table at dinner. What parent can say he truly knows his child? No doubt you know most of the patterns that shape his life decisions; however, because he is human, he can do the unpredictable.

You never know when a person will reject you, because he himself doesn’t know how he will respond to temptation. The most we can do is to detect the other person’s weaknesses, in order to anticipate the decisions he will make and the temptations that will overwhelm him.

Nearly all of us let our weakness show through. Some people, for example, are born quitters, who start each new project with gusto only to fall away at the first annoyance. Others are vain, and seek constant adulation. When they no longer hear their name on our lips, they go elsewhere for praise. Some begin humbly, but give them one taste of glory and they are forever intoxicated with self-esteem.

What then can we hold fast to throughout our life? Whom dare we trust unconditionally, when all others fall away? The Holy Church, the Bible, the writings of the saints and even the currency of this nation never tire of proclaiming the one truth basic to our soul’s happiness: “IN GOD ALONE DO WE TRUST.”