Reflection on “Truth” (on the writings of St. Maximilian’s article, #1246 Volume II ) By Annette Leib (MI Canada President)
Excerpts from Truth #1246
“Although not everyone loves the truth, yet only truth can be the 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” are true.” “Truth lies either in “yes” or “no. For the truth is one.”
It is interesting that this article on Truth by St. Maximilian was published in his newspaper (Rycerz Niepopkalanej) in the same year that he was taken prisoner for the last time by the Gestapo and died as a martyr in the Auschwitz camp on the eve of Mary’s Assumption. He gave his life as a heroic example of the Truth proclaimed by Jesus Christ in the gospel, “Greater love than this no man has that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
“Truth is one” is an affirmation that truth is consistent with itself and there is no division in objective Truth. It does not admit an element of falsehood. It reflects reality in its very nature and brings about unity and harmony in what it proclaims. In other words, in any given matter both words “no” and “yes” if applied to the same thing will contradict each other and therefore nullifies the meaning of either word. It can only be one or the other but not both at the same time in a given situation or factual matter. Truth exists on its own merits. It does not change and is very powerful. It “is” what “it is” regardless of our belief or disbelief.
Truth is “a priori,” that is, it exists independent of experience or of our perception of reality. To affirm that truth is “relative” is a contradiction in itself. To make “Truth” relative is to imply that it can be both “yes” and “no”” or “true” and “false” at the same time. When truth contradicts itself, it is false and it is not the truth. We can have different moral views or religious beliefs but it is not possible for the same moral or religious issue to be both “true” and “false” at the same time. It either “is” or “isn’t” regardless of our personal belief or perception of reality. We can say God exists or He does not exist. The Truth of His existence does not depend on whether we believe He exists or not. Objective Truth is independent of our human standpoint and if we reject it, it only means we have chosen to live in deception for various reasons if we have not made the effort to seek the ultimate truth of creation and of our existence.
Yet, the human heart and mind craves to know the Truth. Why else are we upset when someone deliberately lies to us? We are created to seek and to know the truth. However, it takes effort to seek it, humility to admit our error, and sacrifice to follow wherever the truth leads and to accept it by conformity to its demands. Finding the “Truth” is a process of discovery if we are willing to make such an effort to seek it in our own lives. So often, we prefer to dwell in self-deception rather than to make an effort to courageously discover the truth and be willing to abide in it. Truth is not ambiguous, but sheds light on the reality of a situation or matter. We do not create Truth out of our mental constructs as it exists in and of itself in the same way that mathematical truths exist independent of our awareness or ignorance.