One of my favorite saints, and patron of my diocese is St. Thomas More who gave his life in service of the truth. He was betrayed by all – even his wife and daughters who begged him to perjure himself in order to prevent them from losing their comfortable reputations and lifestyles. For probably all of us, we will never be called to this type of testimony by offering our blood in martyrdom.
What will be asked of us? I don’t know. I do know that regardless of the price, the one thing we do need to commit to is the truth; if we are to persevere until the end.
Hans Urs von Balthasar has been quoted saying, “Truth is symphonic.” This is true and beautiful. But truth is also visceral and expository. It cares not for our feelings and like a brilliant light, exposes all our imperfection to us and others. Truth is not truth if we dress it up and sanitize it – we call that fiction. Truth demands a relationship – if one is to proclaim it, the other must understand they are loved for even the slightest chance that the truth be heard.
The oddest trait of human nature (in my unsolicited opinion) is that we are made for truth but hate it. Well, I guess it would be more correct to say that we hate it when it exposes us. It is in these moments where we either perjure ourselves or accept the pruning in order to grow. Most of us run and find those who will boost our self-image or agree with our sin or disillusionment. For the beautiful among us, they embrace the truth and let it do its work.
In the case of St. Thomas, his closest friend betrayed him, Richard Rich. What was the price of betrayal? Comfortably and self-esteem…oh, and Wales. In today’s society, the synonym of comfortable is tolerance. Be tolerant of my sin, be tolerant of my ignorance, and most of all, I will not tolerate criticism. Many of us wonder why we are not growing or healing…it is usually because we refuse the truth. May we never live the words of Pilate, “Quid est veritas?”
Here is an inspiring testament to truth…enjoy!