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What is Truth?

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Two weeks ago I had an encounter with a couple which had me reflecting upon Pontius Pilate’s question to Jesus, “What is Truth?” I was at a restaurant with some friends when a woman and her husband approached me. They had noticed my collar and felt moved to come over and ask me some questions. These “questions” turned into an hour and a half long conversation. In this conversation they shared their story. They had a Christian background, but now did not identify as any religion. As the woman told me, there were just too many inconsistences and discrepancies in the Bible to be able to know what was true and what was false.

This led them on a crusade for truth that, as the woman admitted, made them so thoroughly confused they had no idea where to turn. Is Jesus really who he says he is? Was he really foretold in the Old Testament or did mankind read too much into the Scripture? How could the Bible be the Word of God if humans had written it? These were some of the questions that plagued her and yet the core of her angst was the very question Pilate asked Jesus 2000 years ago: What is Truth?

I am not going to necessarily answer that question today (sorry), but briefly look at the symptoms of Truth, because what struck me with this couple was what a life looks like without Truth. In my opinion, this couple was not looking for Truth, but rather proof, and oddly enough, this search for proof led them further from Truth.

Truth will always challenge us, but it will never confuse us or make us doubt more. This couple was very lost, they did not even know what they believed and did not believe anymore. Truth does not do this. Truth brings peace, comfort, stability, and a firm foundation. What is my “proof” that Jesus is who he says he is? Well, when I live the life Christ wants me to live, I am more at peace, more at comfort, more stable, and when I do not, my life quickly becomes tossed about in the storm. I may not always be able to explain away every inconsistency or discrepancy, I may not be able to answer every question, but I don’t need to. When living in the Truth there is little reason for proof, it is like asking a wife to prove her love to her husband.

What is Truth? I may not always be able to tell you the answer, but I can show you.

 

Tags: truth

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  With this statement our forefathers declared the very purpose of government. This statement and the remainder of the Declaration of Independence would set in motion the great nation in which we live.

Tomorrow we will celebrate the signing of this document and the birth of our nation. There will be parades, fireworks, picnics, cookouts with families and friends celebrating together the birth of this great experiment. My memories of these events date back to the late 50’s and early 60’s. Yes, as my daughter never fails to remind me, I am old. I recall with fondness great parades, large bands, drum majors and majorettes, batons twirling and flags flying. I recall fire engine sirens, huge crowds, fireworks that were weak by today’s standards, and fun with family and friends. The more things change….the more they stay the same.

But this experiment is not over. It is not complete. These unalienable rights have yet to be fully attained. I do not believe they will ever be fully attained this side of heaven and yet strive to attain them we must. We must never tire of bringing the kingdom of God to earth. Today we hear Jesus say, “the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few” and so it is, just as surely today as it was in 1776, as it was in Jesus time, and before. 

Jesus’ solution? Go to all the nations, to all the people, with great haste.  This mission we are sent on is a dangerous one so don’t be dallying about. Go and offer your peace to everyone and to those who return that peace stay with them and teach them about the greatest gift ever given. The gift of those very same rights given to us by a God who loves us so much he became a man, suffered and died at our hands only so we might spend eternity in paradise with him. Spend eternity in that one place where all men are truly equal and love abounds. The one place where we coexist in, no, become a very part of love, which is the Creator.  

Go, live and proclaim God’s peace!

 

Believe in Goodness

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If you believe it, you will see it.

I am sure that you have heard this saying before. A person’s mindset does much to direct their words and actions. I happen to have a rosy disposition. I prefer to think optimistically and positively. I prefer to see the good. I have a trust in the goodness of humanity. As a result, I often believe in good so I see good. Unfortunately, this burns me from time to time. Each time I have been burned, I have grown wiser. In pondering where this Pollyanna view of life comes from, I believe it comes from growing up in the Catholic Church. There is so much richness in our faith tradition that guides us and directs us in how to “be”, all of which is very positive and loving, dare I say charitable. There is Jesus, His teachings like “The Beatitudes”. There is Mary, her fiat and modelling of devotion. There are the lives of the Saints.

Of late, I am growing more and more connected to Catholic Social Teachings due to the many issues testing our Catholic presence in the world during this post-Christian era in history. I wish to share them with you as a means to appreciating our role as the hands of Jesus in the world. They are so beautifully written. They are the basis of my leadership practices and the practices of our school.

  • Life and Dignity of the Human Person – The Catholic Church proclaims that all human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society.
  • Call to Family, Community, and Participation – Persons are sacred but also social. Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened. 
  • Rights and Responsibilities – Every person has a fundamental right to life and to those things required for human dignity. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities to one another, to our families, and to society at large. 
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable – Catholic tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgement (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
  • The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers – Work is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, the basic rights of workers must be respected.
  • Solidarity – We are one human family, brothers and sisters created in the image of God, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences may be. The Gospel calls us to be people of love and peace.
  • Care of God’s Creation – We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation in all forms.

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