Archive for the ‘Truth’ Category

What is Truth?

Posted: December 10, 2010 in Catholic, Truth

I know right now that I am nowhere near Holy week but one of my favorite Scripture verses comes from Jesus’ trial. Jesus is being questioned by Pilate and he asks, “What is truth?” We don’t know if Jesus answers Pilate but we know the next thing that Pilate does is to address the people and say “I have found no fault with Him.”  See John 18:38 for more details.

In American society, people often look to themselves to find truth. Because this is how it works right, you believe something, I believe another and we’re both right. Right? Wrong!

If something is true then it is always true. For instance 1 + 1 is always 2, oil and water always separates, and a tangent line will always touch only one point on a circle. Sorry tried to stay away from obscure math references. Of course then when you get to the topic of faith, either no one wants to touch it, you are like me and will go there with a little bit of authority or people start claiming to be experts. Those that don’t want to touch the topic of faith usually say that, “That’s true for you, but not for me.” We try to be to politically correct about our beliefs.

Being politically correct only helps to fuel confusion about what is true. Within logic there is a principle known as the Principle of Non-Contradiction. What this states, “A thing cannot both be and not be at the same time in the same way.”

For example if we were looking at a lit candle and I said the candle is not burning and you said that the candle is burning, who is right? You would be right, there is a flame, the flame is exuding heat and light, therefore the candle is lit. If I were to continuing to argue, I would just look like an idiot.

Now looking at a very common Catholic debate we have the issue of Christ’s presence, body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. So flipping back to the John chapter 6 we have Jesus himself saying,

“Unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks of my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.” John 6: 53-55

So looking at logic, Jesus is absolutely right or Jesus is absolutely wrong.  Even the Jews of the time thought Jesus was nuts and “Many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer followed Him.” John 6:66  Those disciples who left Jesus could not accept this teaching as truth, so they left. It was not a matter of saying, ‘let’s agree to disagree’, but Jesus spoke in absolute language. This is truth and looking ahead at the Last Supper, these words are echoed by Matthew.

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup and gave it to them saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.'” Matthew 26: 26 – 28

So either the Catholic belief of the true presence in the Eucharist is either true or false. Personally I am going to say it’s true, and if you say I’m wrong, one of us will be right.

When something is true, it will always be true. So can we handle the truth? We can’t handle the truth, or at least we can’t handle it alone. That’s why we Catholics have the Church, the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and each other. We all contain the truth and together that truth is pretty amazing.

And no, this truth is not just my truth, it is the truth.