“Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings… Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord” (Jer 17: 5-10). A human being can only be trusted to a point. Because every one of us comes equipped with a limited intellect and an unstable free will, therefore, we can only be trusted so far. “More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it” (Jer 17: 9). Even the steadiest human beings have an aspect of uncertainty and unpredictability about them.
We should not read these messages from the great prophet Jeremiah only in the third person, but in the first person, too. “Cursed is the man who trusts in me.” “More tortuous than all else is my heart.” Thus, if I have an important decision to make, before doing so, I have to take a step back and reflect upon my own history of ignorance and wrongdoing. When I do so I realize something: perhaps I am right now going to make this important decision ignorant of some important facts! Perhaps I am going to decide while under the sway of some sinful tendency! Am I (once again) convincing myself, subtly or even subliminally, that it just happens to turn out that what I wanted all along is best for all parties involved?
If you can sympathize with this predicament, and if you have an important decision to make, then find someone who can direct you in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, because they “have as their purpose the conquest of self and the regulation of one’s life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment” (SpEx 21).