REFLECTION: Pursuing the truth PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 11:43

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

One very crucial virtue in our life is sincerity. That, of course, has something to do with truth. Our genuine development and perfection as persons and as society would depend to a large extent on how we are sincere, or on how we understand and handle truth. As the gospel says, it’s truth that will make us free.

If instead of truth, we are dominated by lies, falsehoods and deception, we can be sure that we would be doomed to perdition. Injustice and inequality would flourish. Some people will exploit others. Forms of slavery will come. And we will attract many other evils.

But before we think that truth and sincerity are simply a matter of telling what we see, how we feel, what we experience, how we understand a certain thing, or how we fare with respect to a certain matter, we have to realize that truth and sincerity actually involve a lot more than these.

Sincerity is a matter of continually pursuing the truth that in the end is none other than dealing with God. We should have no doubt about this. God is Truth himself, the source and measure of truth. Only in him can we have the whole scope of truth in all its objectivity.

Apart from him, we can only have partial truths, or data and facts that are subjectively used to suit our ulterior motives. We can play games with these pieces of information that may be true but very prone to be manipulated according to our schemes.

Being a pursuit of truth, sincerity is a very dynamic virtue that involves developing an increasingly intimate relationship with God. It cannot be any other way. But we have to understand that this relationship just cannot be limited to knowing God only. It also involves loving him, since God is not meant to be known only, but mainly to be loved.

And to love God means to follow his commandments. “If you love me, keep my commandments,” Christ said clearly. (Jn 14,15) And his commandments are that we love God above all, that we love our neighbor as ourselves, and that we love one another as Christ himself has loved us.

And so, we can conclude that to be in the truth or to be sincere means to know and love God as well as to know and love others, the way Christ knows and loves us. We are not being truthful and sincere enough if we just blurt out what we see, what we feel, what we experience, how we fare about a certain matter.

In other words, we can be quite frank and candid about how we feel or how we understand things, but unless we make an effort to know and love God and others, we would still be far off the mark of truth.

The other day, in a family reunion, I observed two one-year-old toddlers greeting each other. Toddler 1 started by touching the face of Toddler 2 but in a way that would appear to us as slapping.

At first, Toddler 2 did not respond, but when later on he did by doing the same act of slapping to Toddler 1, the latter cried and sort of complained to us, because he was showing his cheek to us.

The whole time that was what he did, in between his bumbling forays around the house. The poor one-year-old only understood that he was slapped.

And I thought that that is exactly what happens to us when we simply are concerned about our own feelings, views, observations, etc., without making any effort to know what God and the others want of us. We can be candid and yet still miss the point. We can feel sincere, but actually not truthful enough.

We need to be clear about one point. For us to develop properly personally and as a member of society, starting with the family, we need to be sincere and truthful, making our love for God and concern for the others as the constant parameters in our effort to be in the truth.

That’s why we always need to ask ourselves as to where our thoughts and intentions go. Do they revolve around ourselves or around God and the others? We have to realize that thinking of God always and being mindful and thoughtful of the others will actually simplify our life and put in touch with the real world.

We should have the attitude of serving the others. This is how we can be truthful and sincere, avoiding living in a world of our own.