What is truth? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 October 2017 13:53

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

THAT was the question Pilate asked Christ. (cfr Jn 18,38) But Christ already answered that question before it was asked.

“Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice,” he said.

There we have a clear answer as to what truth is. It’s when we hear the voice of Christ. It’s a voice that is full of charity, understanding and compassion on others, patience and mercy.

It’s also a voice that knows how to be strong and implement the requirements of justice.

Truth therefore is not just cold facts that we observe, nor some objective data that we derive from our studies and researches. Much less is it simply a matter of political opinion or some ideological bias or things of that sort. While giving us some aspects of truth, these do not have the last word. And as such, they are incomplete and can easily be manipulated.

That is why right now with everyone trying to say the truth without God, we are practically sinking in an ocean of fake news, hoaxes, disinformation, urban legends, propaganda, inane trivias, superstitions, biased opinions that seek to absolutize the relative and relativize the absolute, etc. As a consequence, we generate a very toxic atmosphere where conflicts, anger and hatred dominate.

We need to adjust our understanding of truth, because very often our understanding of it has nothing to do with any reference to Christ. We have to understand that Christ is the very embodiment of truth because he is the Son of God who is the very pattern of our humanity and the Redeemer who restores our humanity that is damaged by sin.

We have to realize that the fullness of the truth is in Christ, truth in all its dimensions, aspects and levels.

Truth is not just something physical or scientific. It does not depend so much on the intensity of the passions with which we affirm it. It is not just social, political or economic. Neither is it simply historical or cultural. Truth, of course, is all these but is still a lot more.

Truth has to enter into the spiritual and supernatural reality to which we are all subject. It has something to do with intentions and motives. And most especially, it by definition involves our duty to love God and to love everybody else. Truth cannot be truth unless is it infused also with the charity that comes from God, the God who is the creator of all things and who governs his creation with his abiding providence.

Thus, we cannot actually be in the truth when we fail to put God in the equation. In fact, to be truthful, God in Christ through the Holy Spirit has to be at the core of it. He has to be the very principle of truth. Without God, our truthfulness would be at the mercy of our human designs and machinations. We cannot help but distort it. Instead of aiming at the common good, we will simply be interested in our own selfish interests.

And so, we have to understand that to be truthful involves our proper relation with God. It requires authentic piety. With such piety, we will be led to find the truth in charity. Thus, affirming the truth often involves patience, restraint and moderation, willingness to suffer, etc.

The triumph of truth is not triumphalistic!