The Importance of Authenticity

At The Jesuit Post, Keith Maczkiewicz, SJ, writes about “Critique and Authenticity: When the Ideal Obscures the Good.” He relates a story of a time when authenticity won out over his internal critique and concludes:

The truth is that assuming a posture of critique and insisting on the ideal (whatever that is) means I often miss out on the opportunities to encounter the authentic. Too often I’m dismissing what is for what’s hoped for or what I think is best. To strive for excellence is not a bad thing in and of itself, of course, but when it becomes a central focus or driving force at the expense of encounter, it’s a clarion call for change.

I want to insist on the ideal—my own sense of what is right or correct—but authenticity is more important. Only in authenticity can real relationship be found and formed.

As many of us work to deepen our relationship with God this Lent, it’s useful to consider the role of authenticity in that goal. God cannot be anything but authentic—what about us?


  1. I grew up with Holden Caulfield and “The Catcher in the Rye” for whom the cardinal sin was to be a phony; like unto it was to “sell out”.


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