Truth # 1246 (St.Maximilian’s article from the Rycerz Niepokalanej, Dec. 1940- Jan. 1941, Vol II)
Although not everyone loves the truth, yet only truth can be the basis for lasting happiness.
Truth is one. We know it well, and yet in real life, we sometimes behave as though in any given matter both “no” and “yes” could be true. It is not difficult for instance, to recognize that at times we act in accordance with the faith that Divine Providence will come to our aid, while on the other occasions we worry excessively, as if Divine Providence, did not exist. Therefore, Divine Providence either is or is not. Equally, it is true, for instance, that this moment I am writing these words and that you, dear reader, are reading them. But this notwithstanding, the reverse cannot be true; that is to say, that I have not written these things, or that you are not reading them. On this matter, the “yes’ and the “no” cannot both be true. Truth lies either in “yes” or “no.” For the truth is one.
Truth is powerful. If someone wanted to disprove me and were to assert that neither have I written nor have you read, the truth would not change, and he who denied that would be mistaken would deceive himself. And even if such deniers were many, the power of truth, would not suffer at all. Indeed, even if all the men on earth were to assert, publish, film and swear all their lives that I did not write these lines and that you did not read them, all that would not be enough for even a particle to be removed from the hard rock of truth, that is to say, that I wrote and that you read. Nor does God erase, nor can erase, the truth by a miracle, for He is the Truth itself.
How great is the power of Truth! A power truly infinite, divine.
Even in religion. This issue applies only in connection with religious truth. On the earth, we see many religious confessions and encounter the fairly widespread notion that every religion is good. Yet we cannot possibly agree with that notion. It is true that many of those who do not adhere to any religion, or who profess one or another of them, may be exempt from all guilt before God, for the fact that they are fully convinced that they walking along the right path. However, even in religious matters, the truth can be one only, and those who hold beliefs that differ from the reality of things are mistaken. Only those who judge according to the truth have a true faith.
And so, if it is true God exists, disbelievers who say that He does not are in error; on the other hand, if He did not exist, all those who profess any religion would be in error. Also, if it is true that Jesus
Christ is risen, then what He taught is true and it is true that He is God incarnate; yet if he had not risen, all Christian denominations would have no reason to exist.
Finally, if Jesus turned to Peter with the words, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” (Mt. 16:18), and thus gave a sign on the basis of which everyone has the opportunity to easily recognize His Church in the midst of hundreds of different Christian churches, then only those who are in the universal, Catholic Church walk along the true path. And if they move toward God faithfully, following the teachings of the Church, they have the assurance of achieving eternal happiness, and peace and joy even on this earth.
The same applies to other instances of religious truths. For example, if it is true that the Immaculata really appeared to Bernadette in Lourdes, it is true that she lives and loves us as a true Mother; but if this apparition had not occurred, we would not have the opportunity of knowing what this source tells us of the Immaculata. We might, however, rely on many other sources.
Acknowledging truth. No one can change any truth. One can only seek the truth, find it, acknowledge it, conform one’s life to is, walk on the path of truth in each matter, especially those concerning the ultimate purpose of life, one’s relationship with God, that is, the question of religion.
Lasting Happiness. There is no person on earth, who does not pursue happiness. Indeed, in every action, we take, happiness presents itself to us, in one form or another, as the purpose to which, by nature, we tend. However, a happiness that is not built on truth cannot be long lasting, as is the case with mendacity itself. Only truth can be and is the unshakable foundation of happiness, both for individuals and for the whole of humanity.
Questions to ponder.
- Can we change the truth if we so desire?
- How does moral truth impact our values and behaviour?
- Is moral truth a product of our culture or does it exist independent of all cultures? If so, Why?