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March 18 | Comfortable Lies

Saint Cyril of Alexandria

A.D. 315–386



Sometimes a lie is more comfortable than the truth. Sometimes a lie helps us to stay on the “good” side of people. Sometimes a lie helps us avoid making too many enemies.

Saint Cyril of Alexandria had a lot of enemies. Why? Because he stuck to the truth, no matter who it upset.

In fact, it was said by the Reverend Adrian Fortescue that “if ever a man had bitter enemies, it was Cyril.”

Cyril’s most famous feud was with Nestorius, who started what later came to be known as the Nestorian heresy—the Nestorian lie. Nestorius believed that Jesus had come from God, but ultimately wasn’t God himself. Nestorius also spread the lie that Mary is not the Mother of God. 

A lot of people followed this lie, and the Nestorian heresy spread far and wide. Few people stood up to Nestorius because they knew that by doing so, they would create thousands of enemies for themselves.

But that didn’t stop Cyril. He devoted the second half of his life to defeating the Nestorian lie by speaking only the truth. He led the Council of Ephesus in 431 to formally declare Jesus both God and man, and to establish for Mary the title of Theotokos: The Mother of God.

One thing guided Saint Cyril of Alexandria: A radical commitment to the truth. Why don’t more people have a radical commitment to the truth?

We usually experience various forms of discomfort when we lie. But if we tell a lie often enough those uncomfortable feelings tend to fade, and in time, we could become quite comfortable telling a lie. 

And we usually think about lying in relation to the lies we tell others, but it may be that the most damaging lies are those we tell ourselves. Worse than that we use lies to comfort ourselves. 

When was the last time you lied?

We justify our little lies, but the truth is, the more we lie to others the more we are likely to lie to ourselves, and the more comfortable we get with lies the more delusional and dissatisfying our lives become. 

Beware the lies that comfort you. Real happiness begins with being brutally honest with yourself.

WHAT COMFORTABLE LIES AM I ALLOWING IN MY LIFE? HOW WOULD A RADICAL COMMITMENT TO THE TRUTH CHANGE MY LIFE?

I will tell the truth, no matter what.


This reflection is brought to you from book title.


Patron Saint of: Alexandria, Egypt

Feast Day: March 18

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Anselm

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