Objective Truth Series – Reflections Article #14
In our last reflection we considered how God wants us to seek His help in our problems. However, we must also consider that God intends that man have a desire for Him especially as our last end. Because we were created to be with God, it is built into our nature to want to have knowledge of Him. Hence there is a natural seeking or desire to know God and truth. It is God’s Will that we pursue this desire. God wants to satisfy this thirst for the knowledge of the truth.
God wants us to perfect our intellects and He uses this way to draw our souls to Him. Of course, He wants us to learn more about Him for His glory and not our own. God captivates our minds while we are thinking about Him or any aspect of truth.
Humans are created with the ability to ponder the facts about something and have a sort of mental discussion about these facts. Thus, we come to concrete conclusions and acquire knowledge of the truth. In this way, God also sparks our desire to know Him more and more. We then desire more Truth and we love Truth more, and, consequently, we’ll want God more and more. “Thy Word is Truth,” says Our Lord in His prayer to His Father in St. John’s Gospel (Ch. 17:17).
St. Thomas defines truth as “the mind’s conformity to reality.” When our minds are conformed to reality, we are seeing how the facts fit together to make a proper conclusion. We indeed discover the truth.
God puts the delight of truth in our minds and hearts. The soul has an excitement about truth within itself. Therefore, our hunger and thirst for truth, once sparked, should grow and grow. “They that eat me, shall yet hunger; and they that drink me, shall yet thirst” [Eccl. 24:29].
So, with this hunger and thirst for the truth, there naturally comes a greater love for truth and a desire to spread the truth. “Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. So, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven” [Matt. 5; 15-16]. Our Lord is telling us that we should not be ashamed of the truth. We should not be afraid to stand up for the truth.
“And I say to you, whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God. But he that shall deny me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God,” says Our Lord in St. Luke’s Gospel [Luke 12; 8-9]. Here Our Lord is saying again to not be afraid of standing up for the truth, and to rejoice, to glorify God by spreading the truth.
The devil, on the other hand, hates the truth. He tempts us to have a fear of standing up for the truth. Of course, this fear is a false and irrational one. This temptation is a typical tactic of the devil. It is using shame in the wrong way.
When we just do things to please others and/or when we do not stand up against errors or unreasonable behavior because we are afraid to stick out, then we are betraying the truth. This is a way of betraying Our Lord. This betrayal comes from what is called false human respect or human respect pride.
Our Lord warned His Apostles of the way the world will view them, and, for that matter, us too. “You shall be hated by all men for My Name’s sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved” [Matt. 10; 22]. And Our Lord says also, “Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” [Matt 5; 10] Further, “If the world hates you, know ye, that it hath hated Me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” [John 15; 18-19]
Our Lord tells us not to worry by saying, “And I say to you, My friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have not more that they can do. But I will show you whom you shall fear: fear ye him, who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear him” [Matt 12; 4-5].
Our Lord consoles and reassures us, “In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world.” [John 16; 33]
We live in neo-pagan times of the great apostasy. Common sense, reason, and truth are attacked viciously everywhere. Political correctness is the modern world’s term used to describe exactly what Our Lord forbade, namely, speaking and doing the things and actions which the world favors, but which are against God and His commandments.
In our times there is a tremendous pressure and tension throughout the world for all humans to succumb to the modern world’s immorality. It really reminds us Catholics of what is referred to in the Apocalypse 13; 15, “And it was given him to give life to the image of the beast, and that the image of the beast should speak; and should cause, that whosoever will not adore the image of the beast, should be slain.”
However, when we read the following in the Apocalypse:
Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to every man according to his works. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb: that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. Without are dogs, and sorcerers, and unchaste, and murderers, and servers of idols, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie …. Apocalypse 22:12-15.
We should be terrified to not tell the truth.
These quotes should make us long for the truth all the more. Likewise, they should urge us to stand up for the truth, fully knowing that this is what Our dear Lord expects of us. They also fill us with the fear of human respect pride and make us want to humbly speak out to tell the truth.
Besides praying for the grace of final perseverance, we should pray for the love of the truth – that we have a deep devotion to the truth; that we always seek the truth; and that God gives us the fortitude to be willing to suffer and die for the sake of the truth. With all of the powerful words of Scripture to remind us about truth, and the delight we take in learning the truth, maybe our hearts would swell to say the following:
Oh, the science of truth, Divine,
Thou, man is made to know, by design,
Thou, the First Cause, Thou, Our Last End,
Thou, to learn, our life, we must spend.
By pondering, of facts we find,
Proper conclusions, come to mind.
One’s seeking Thee, becomes desire,
And, an ever-increasing fire,
E’er thirsty and hungry, are we,
To know more and more, about Thee.
To fill the soul, more with Thy light,
Becomes now, our only delight.
Oh, then Truth, becomes our sole love,
Humility, a proper fruit of,
Only truth can make us replete,
Our satisfaction to complete!
No wonder, we wish to adore,
We do seek, ever more and more,
Oh, Truth, for Thy own sake alone,
We want to possess for our own.
‘Cause for this end, didst Thou us make,
Thus to live and die, for Truth’s sake,
That Thy truth, we ever pursue,
To Thee, keep our hearts, ever true.
And if we the whole world could gain,
By smearing the truth with false stain,
Then our friendship with Thee, would cease,
And would destroy, our inner peace.
Friend of the world, and friend of Thee
Could never reality be,
To focus on how we are viewed,
To worry e’er, how we’re construed.
E’er trying with the world to fit,
With our conscience, does not well sit,
This nightmare’s easy, to deflect,
Put aside, false human respect.
Only Sin alone, should we fear,
Not say things, just to please the ear,
May we the courage to ne’r seek,
To agree with fads, from week to week.
‘Cause truth does not change, nor should we,
With error in harmony be,
We must e’er pray, ready to fly,
The worldlings who want us to lie.
With Truth may we ever abide,
And long to stay, on Our Lord’s side,
In this earthly sojourn, truth love,
Desire to be with Truth above!