By: Fr. Roy Cimagala
ONCE AGAIN we need to reiterate this basic truth. We can never be truthful unless we refer things to God. In fact, what would really assure us that we would be fully in the truth despite truth’s many levels, aspects, angles, etc., is when we are with God through Christ in the Holy Spirit. There is no other way to be truthful!
This means that we have to be vitally identified with Christ who told Pilate that he came to bear witness to the truth. (cfr. Jn 18,37-38) Only in Christ can we be in the truth. Only when we look, understand and react to things the way Christ did would we be in the truth.
This Christ-inspired truth will always come with charity, because a fact, a piece of information and data presented as truth without charity, is never the truth. Truth and charity are inseparable and interchangeable.
Charity may make truth appear as going against reason, common sense, the evidence of facts and data, but that should be expected. There is a certain madness in charity because charity involves not only natural things, but also spiritual and supernatural realities that can overwhelm our human ways of understanding things.
We just have to adjust our ways of understanding what truth really is and what it would involve. Seeking and finding it, proclaiming, protecting and defending it is the same as seeking, finding, proclaiming, protecting and defending charity which is the very essence of God. It is the same as seeking, finding, proclaiming, protecting and defending God.
This will obviously require a lot of restraint in our relation with truth. And that’s simply because we have the tendency to be overtaken by our emotions and passions, or even by our merely rational operations. While these human faculties are important, they would be out on a limb if they are not inspired by the charity of God.
We have to understand truthfulness not only as the conformity of our mind with reality, but also as the conformity of our mind with the reality that conforms with the mind of God who is the very source of reality. This latter is called the ontological truth which we should try our best to capture.
Of course, capturing this ontological truth would require God’s grace itself. We just cannot get it by our own efforts alone, although we have to exert all our efforts too. That is why to be truthful requires a deep humility and faith, nothing less than denying ourselves and carrying the cross as Christ himself told us, otherwise we would make our own brand of truthfulness that despite its powerful appeal does not hit the mark.
In other words, to be truthful is to have the mind of God who is all too willing to share it with us. God’s mind is revealed to us in Christ who is made present to us now in the Holy Spirit. (cfr. Jn 14,26) To be truthful will always be a matter of our intimate relationship with God. It will always be a religious affair, not just a strictly human affair.
As such, it will always involve some mysteries that can only be appreciated through the power of God’s grace. That’s when we can understand why we would be in the truth when we follow Christ’s teaching about loving the enemy and about the beatitudes where we are considered blessed if we are poor in spirit, hungry, meek, pure in heart, persecuted for the sake of Christ, etc.
To have the mind of God, we have to listen to St. Paul who talked about becoming a spiritual man and not just a carnal man. “The spiritual man judges all things, but he himself is not subject to anyone’s judgment. For who has known the mind of the Lord…? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor 2,15-16)