God Simplifies the Truth and
We Can Delight in It
Objective truth series reflection #16
In our most recent reflections, we have considered how we use our reason to come to conclusions and acquire knowledge of the truth. God fills us with the hunger and thirst for more truth. Furthermore, He gives us satisfaction when we use our reason. This satisfaction makes it easier to fulfill our moral obligation to use our reason.
Yet the term satisfaction does not seem to go far enough in describing a further benefit that God bestows on us. This benefit is, namely, that He simplifies the truth and then we can take delight in seeing the truth simplified.
Our use of reason is a remarkable thing. As was explained in Reflection #14, we gather information and have a sort of mental discussion about the facts. We then draw conclusions and acquire knowledge of the truth. Over time, as we ponder truths, these truths sink more deeply into us. They get absorbed slowly like successive drops of water into a sponge. In this way, the truths become more and more a part of us and are like second nature. Hence, we acquire a greater love of these truths which have become part of us.
Also, gradually, as we draw more and more conclusions, we can see connections and relationships between things which we never realized were connected before. We come to see a bigger picture. Hence, we acquire a more objective view.
In this way, we become more like God and the angels because they see things all at once. Yet, for us, because we come to know things by reasoning in steps, when we get a more objective view, we have a pleasing enjoyment in our newfound knowledge.
To illustrate this, let us consider what it is like to be in a hot air balloon. When the balloon is still on the ground before it lifts, everything around us looks large and complex. As the balloon lifts and pulls away from the earth, the objects from this vertical position appear to be sinking lower and lower. They also look like they are shrinking and getting stunted. From our angle peering over the side of the balloon basket, everything becomes smaller and smaller and things takes on a fore-shortened appearance.
As the flight upwards continues, the objects and the landscapes below now look like a patchwork quilt. They become less distinct and defined as they diminish in size, but the relationships between things becomes clearer. Hence, our view becomes simpler. We have a sense of amazement and delight in seeing how many things are brought together in a simple and orderly fashion.
As a consequence of this astounding simplification, the soul sees the wonder of God’s Providence in creating man to be the type of creature able to use reason and come to know things objectively. The more objective a man’s view is, the more he appreciates the omniscience and omnipotence of God. Hence, the result is delight, as well as an increase in the love of God. Even though words cannot express our delight fully, our hearts still ache to capture it in words – such as the following:
Use of reason for man is this,
His highest, most powerful tool,
By use of it brings man much bliss,
Without it, he becomes a fool.
when facts are pondered, one finds,
They draw one, to a proper end,
Bringing him to truths, of all kinds,
Showing reason—a precious friend!
time with practice of using,
The intellect e’er, more and more,
Connections ‘tween things start fusing,
Making things simpler than afore.
as an air-balloon lifting,
May make things around look askew,
The mind as it were things sifting,
Brings on a more objective view.
soul has this, to now enjoy,
Of seeing things, in a new way,
And thankful is man, to employ,
His reasoning, from day to day.
great God is, to give us such,
A wonderful gift, of our soul,
Which should remind us, oh so much,
That heaven is our, one true goal.
would make us, ever exclaim,
Keep lifting me, O Lord I pray,
I do aspire to, have the aim,
To seek heaven, every day.
unworthy, I know I be
To ask now, such a bold request,
I want to dwell, e’er with Thee,
To become, Thy eternal guest.
grant Lord, my lowly prayer,
And make me, more like Thee,
To see the truth, that looks so fair,
When with, objective view, I see.
can, have no bound,
For such a grand gift, bestowed,
Of seeing links, which so astound,
And to Thee, all my love, is owed!