The Spirit of truth

By: Fr. Roy Cimagala


WE need to be familiar with the Spirit of truth. He is the one who will show us the whole truth and not just some aspects of it. If we really want to be in the truth and not confused and lost in the many appearances of truth, we need to get in touch with the Spirit of truth.

Christ himself said: “When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own. He will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (Jn 16,13)

We have to take note that this business of getting to the whole truth involves a process. It’s not a one-shot deal. It involves some kind of journey. No one can ever say he has the whole truth until he reaches where the Spirit of truth would finally lead him.

We have to remember that everything that exists has something of the truth, since by merely existing, that something is already true. But as to whether it has the whole truth, it would depend on whether it has the Spirit of truth or not.

The most important thing is to see if something that we consider to be true is in conformity with the Spirit of truth. Otherwise, we will be deceived and trapped by the many appearances of truth that do not bring us to the real thing which, in the end, can only be God.

Thus, we can say that even the devil, who is a liar and is the father of lies (cfr. Jn 8,44), has some truth in him. That he exists is already an indication that he is true and real. And everything that he says to tempt us certainly contains a lot of truth.

But as to whether he has the whole truth, we can definitely say that he does not have it. He precisely will take us away from the ultimate and constant truth—God. He will do it by giving us the many deceptive appearances of truth.

We need to be clear about this point. Especially today when we are bombarded with a lot of data and information supposedly containing scientific things and facts, we have to see to it that all these pieces of information are related to the Spirit of truth.

So, for example, when we read news items and opinion columns or listen to some talk shows, we should be properly guarded. They will always try to impress us with what they consider to be the truth. But unless they are related to the Spirit of truth, we will always have reason to doubt them, or to take them with a grain of salt, or to consider them in a tentative way, or to simply dismiss them.

Unless related to the Spirit of truth, these pieces of information may just be inspired by self-interest that goes against the common good. They can hardly escape from the distortions of their biases and prejudices. They may even outrightly go against God, the source of all truth and goodness. In fact, sad to say, this latter observation is getting rampant.

Even the scientific data can, in the end, be not in the truth, since if they are not related to the Spirit of truth, they can only occasion in us the anomalies of pride, vanity, greed, etc.

With the Spirit of truth, we will always enjoy the gifts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit in varying degrees. With the Spirit of the truth, all our assertions of truth will always redound to the ultimate purpose of our life here on earth—our own sanctification and salvation.

To be in the truth, our pursuit of it will not just limit itself to some earthly and human interest. It will always be meant for our sanctification and salvation, no matter mundane and human the issue at hand we are dealing with is.