Keeping Secrets

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The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr John Ferdinand Cruz SVD – University of San Carlos, Cebu City

Satuday 14th Week in Ordinary Time

A secret is something that is kept, or meant to be kept, unknown or unseen by others. Almost everyone has them. Some can hide it over long periods of time, while others cannot and reveal it almost immediately. Some secrets are funny, embarrassing, and childish, while others are sinful, and regrettable. It may be a secret crush or love, or it may be a dark and deadly secret. It is privy only to you, or those close to you, or it can be what they call an “open secret”—known to everyone but no one talks about it. While you have your own secrets, there are secrets also that are kept from you.

We keep these secrets for a variety of reasons—a friend entrusts you with it and just needs someone to confide in, or it may be a trauma you never want to relive but always remember, or wanting to protect a person from the truth that may hurt them. Sooner or later though, as we all know, most secrets come to light, and its reality will be exposed. You can keep secrets to your grave, but there will always be at least two who will know about it – you and God (or if said inside the confessional, the priest is duty-bound to keep it sealed forever).

The effects of secrets go both ways. It takes a toll on the secret keeper who will find ways to keep the truth from others – the lying and continuous covering up fill a person with anxiety and nerves. On the other hand, the ignorant continue to live in bliss. Once they learn about the secret, they may feel hurt or betrayed, but it is also possible that they can take the news maturely, accept it, and be just okay with it.

Living with secrets gives us more stress than benefits. Although one may feel that they are not ready to give it up at any given moment, it is always good advice to live and speak only of the truth. After all, nothing is really hidden, as everything is known to God. So if I may ask, “What secrets are you keeping?”

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