Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon F. K. Bartels

3/30/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The beauty of Truth: it is God's own voice directing you into the depth of his heart of Love.

There is something irresistible about the truth. You might try to bury it; that will not, however, bring satisfaction and serenity but only an irritating and persistent urge to seek it all the more. Although it is often mistakenly thought that an end can be brought to this desire by acquiring material objects, the heart cannot long be fooled, the depth of Eternal Beauty continues to draw you.

Highlights

By Deacon F. K. Bartels

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/30/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Truth, beauty, goodness, catholic church, Christ bears witness to the truth, Jesus Christ, Deacon F. K. Bartels


GLADE PARK, CO (Catholic Online) -- In Dignitatus Humanae Pope Paul VI wrote, "All men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and his Church, and to embrace it and hold on to it as they come to know it" (DH 1, part 2). This duty, notes the Catechism of the Catholic Church, derives from "the very dignity of the human person" (DH 2).

In his encyclical Caritas In Veritate Pope Benedict XVI noted that the truth is necessary for the authentic development of the human person. Love and truth cannot be separated, to love is to live the truth and convey the truth of Jesus Christ and his Church to others. In seeking the truth and adhering to it once found, the human person is opened to God and his plan, and therefore transformed by the love of God as he walks the path of eternal life.

"[Love] is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth. Each person finds his good by adherence to God's plan for him, in order to realize it fully: in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free (cf. Jn 8:32). To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity. Charity, in fact, 'rejoices in the truth'" (1 Cor 13:6; CIV 1).

But seeking and acquiring the truth has become complicated, or so it can seem. We live in a world of sound bites and catchy phrases, a place often ruled by media hype and thousands upon thousands of outlandish opinions. Our children are taught not so much to seek and fall in love with the beauty of truth, but to memorize formulas and equations they may find useful in the secular world. In many colleges and universities, religious truth is something examined under the harsh and calculating eye of indifference and rationalism. Dogma is the sworn enemy, for it stifles the mind and retards human progress, so they say.

In such a world, the beauty of truth is drowned out by the trumpet blast of relativism. So widespread has the attack on truth become that, for many, there is no escaping the influence of those who seek to crush it. The world has become a place of uncertainty, chaos, disagreement, and disillusionment. It is a place gone quite insane. Consequently, the journey into truth is a forgotten one. Often, it is never begun.

Have you tried to bury the truth? It is interesting, how you attempt to hide from it. You sweep it into the closet and slam the door tightly shut upon it. In order to shore up yourself and your lifestyle, it seems the easier thing to do. Then, you quickly turn your attention to the sound bites, to music and noise and television, to work or leisure or the weekend in hope of cutting off the whispering voice within. You place your trust in something you have once been told, in the way you were raised, in those philosophies to which you cling. However, the truth cannot be entirely silenced. It calls you to take stock of your life, to bring out what is hidden and examine it in the light, to change as is necessary, and to embrace a new way of living.

The truth shouts: become a new person!

Some are afraid of these things. They are afraid of what the truth might uncover. It is bizarre, because trying to escape from the truth is more futile than trying to hide from the blazing light of the sun. Eventually, we will have to face it. However, the longer we remain in the dark, the more we like it, the more normal it seems. As our skin grows pale and our health wanes, we stubbornly remain there, shielding our eyes from the life-giving light of truth because we are afraid of the pain we perceive it might bring.

Nevertheless, the thirst for truth remains.

The last truth many of us refuse to uncover is human mortality. Death is ignored as the unseen enemy who silently lurks on a faraway horizon. Yet this life will end in the blink of an eye. From the perspective of the future, you will look with astonishment on its fleeting nature. The last day is upon you; perhaps it is today. That we cannot escape death is one of the most fruitful truths on which we can meditate. Death's finger will touch you and all your friends. However, it is not the end. It does not have the last word. Jesus Christ is risen.

In the face of all these things, the beauty of truth remains, unchangeable, eternal and everlasting as is God himself. Every human heart thirsts for it, for the simple reason that each person longs for God. There is no escaping that longing. Why not drink from the well of Truth springing up to eternal life? Why not quench your thirst with Jesus Christ? Why not sate your desire with the truth faithfully transmitted by the Bride of Christ, the Church?

What is interesting is that God knows we long for the truth. That is no surprise, you say. However, while it is painfully obvious, it is often overlooked. Why would God withhold the truth from his children? For many looking in from the outside, it appears God indeed withholds the truth. The evidence is incontrovertible, they say. Christians cannot agree on anything, it seems. Some of the most basic tenets of the faith are in dispute between Christian brothers and sisters. If we are one family, why not eat at the same table? We cannot do so because we are not yet fully one and united, a unity for which Jesus himself prayed. We are in communion by virtue of our baptism, but it is imperfect, wounded.

God knows we long for the truth. And he does not withhold it, for to do so would be an unusual cruelty. God the Father sent his only Son into the world to bear witness to the truth (Jn 18:37). Jesus Christ, the Son of God who assumed human flesh, founded an institution of truth as a beacon of light on a hill: the Catholic Church (cf. Matthew 16:17-19; 1 Tim 3:15). Pouring out his blood on the cross, he gave life to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church whose eyes remain unwaveringly fixed on her Beloved. Throughout her two-thousand years, she has unfailingly guarded and transmitted the deposit of Christian faith. She freely offers the words of Christ and the truth about the human family to all nations and all people, at all times and in all places.

Given the brutal, frequent attacks mother Church has suffered down through the ages, the terrifying battles she has fought and won, and the millions of holy martyrs who have willingly poured out their sacred blood in her name, there is no explanation for her longevity other than the finger of God. Indeed! The gates of hell will not prevail against her, for they cannot withstand her saving cry nor hold out against her magnificent beauty. She crushes stone walls of falseness, destroys barriers of pretense, chases away evil and darkness with the light of Christ, and continuously bears the flag of truth in the world.

Truth is her voice, beauty her hand, goodness her battle cry.

There is something about the truth. You might try to bury it; that will not, however, bring satisfaction and serenity but only an irritating and persistent urge to seek it all the more. Although it is often mistakenly thought that an end can be brought to this desire by acquiring material objects, the heart cannot long be fooled, the depth of Eternal Beauty continues to draw you.

On finding the truth, your heart first cries with joy: "I have attained the treasure!" it says. Then, it begins to rest in the security, beauty and goodness of the truth. You fall in love with it all the more deeply, for its magnificence exceeds all boundaries and it nourishes you with a sublimity never before known. Its fragrance is everlasting; its light new, wondrous, unforgettable, creative. Your heart sings: "I am home!"

The beauty of Truth: it is God's own voice directing you into the depth of his heart of Love.

-----

Deacon Fred Bartels is a member of the Catholic clergy who serves the diocese of Pueblo. He knows his Catholic Faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever receive. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit him also at joyintruth.com

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Living Faith

Healing miracle for blind man who refused to stop praying Watch

Image of Kevin Coughlin never gave up and his tenacity was rewarded by God (pix11).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A Manhattan man who went bling in 1997 kept the faith and was healed sixteen years later. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kevin Coughlin suffered a rare genetic condition called Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON).LHON symptoms begin as a sudden, painless ... continue reading


Pope Francis honors little girl who died of cancer Watch

Image of Pope Francis reads a heartbreaking letter to a little girl who passed away from cancer.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

Pope Francis has again captured the hearts of the world, with a tear-jerking letter to a young Italian girl dying from cancer, which was read aloud at the girl's funeral once she passed away. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - "Dear Paolina, your photos are on my ... continue reading


Fr. Stanley Rother becomes first American-born martyr Watch

Image of Father Stanley Rother was proclaimed a martyr.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis has recognized Father Stanley Rother as a martyr. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Fr. Rother was born in Oklahoma City, OK, making him the first martyr born in the United States.In 1986, he was sent to Santiago Atitlan from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma ... continue reading


Pope Francis announces the December prayer intention Watch

Image of Pope Francis calls us to pray for child soldiers.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis revealed his December prayer intention on Thursday, prompting millions to unite in prayer. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis' prayer intention for the month of December is to end child soldiers.End to ... continue reading


Seven bishops, one abbot, and a psychiatrist dialogue with peace activists Watch

Image of During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops† fall assembly in Baltimore, several bishops and one abbot, gathered with about 25 peace activists [not pictured].

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops' fall assembly in Baltimore, several bishops and one abbot, gathered with about 25 peace activists - myself included - to share a simple meal and consider the horrible emotional, psychological and spiritual wounds suffered by ... continue reading


What is the Catholic Church doing in Australia? Watch

Image of The Catholic Church is hard at work.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Catholic Church in Australia has been hard at work to establish a permanent form of change in the community and, if successful, possibly the world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Catholic Church in Australia established a new independent non-profit to ... continue reading


'We pray with Christian hope' - Pope Francis reminds us to pray for the living AND the dead Watch

Image of Pope Francis asks us to pray.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

In his last set of catechesis on mercy, Pope Francis focused on the works of praying for the living and the dead, as well as burying the dead, insisting that since we are all part of one family in Christ, we must remember to pray constantly for one another. Vatican ... continue reading


The 100th Fatima anniversary brings with it three ways to obtain an indulgence Watch

Image of Invoke Our Lady of Fatima.

By Maria Ximena Rondon (CNA/EWTN News)

For the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, Pope Francis has decided to grant a plenary indulgence opportunity throughout the entire anniversary year, which began Nov. 27, 2016, and will end Nov. 26, 2017. Fatima, Portugal (CNA/EWTN ... continue reading


What happens when an atheist encounters Christ? This poet found out for herself Watch

Image of Sally Read was an atheist, now she is a Catholic.

By David Kerr - CNA

"Until two years ago, I was a really committed atheist and I really hated the Catholic Church," said poet Sally Read, as she explained how all that dramatically changed during nine months in 2010. "The whole process took from March to December, and I was received into ... continue reading


Lost tablets confirmed to speak of Christ, but is the story they tell true? Watch

Image of Do these tablets add a chapter to the Gospel of Christ?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Researchers have confirmed the authenticity of lead tablets that discuss Jesus Christ and date to the period of His ministry. As genuine artifacts, they serve as an additional, non-Biblical source to reference the existence of Christ. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 11:1-10
1 A shoot will spring from the stock of Jesse, a new shoot will grow from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
1 [Of Solomon] God, endow the king with your own fair judgement, the son ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 3:1-12
1 In due course John the Baptist appeared; he proclaimed this message in ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 15:4-9
4 And all these things which were written so long ago were written so ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 4th, 2016 Image

St. John of Damascus
December 4: Saint John Damascene has the double honor of ... Read More