“What is truth?” Pilate once sneeringly asked of Our Lord. Important question, no doubt, so could any of us produce the proper answer?
Truth is that which is. This means that truth is good, since everything that exists is good. Now if any man wishes to be good, he must learn to know and love the truth. How can he accomplish such a feat?
Thomas à Kempis provides the answer. “Happy is he whom Truth teacheth by itself, not by figures and words that pass, but as it is in itself.” The Truth seeks out its admirers in order to heap upon them its blessings. If we work to cultivate an ardent love for the truth, it will reveal and teach itself to us.
If the truth does not yet teach itself to us, we must seek it out in order to prove our love. And how do we properly seek out the truth? Is it to be found by etching into our memory the facts of earthly science? “The humble knowledge of thyself is a surer way to God than the deepest search after science…Verily, when the day of judgement comes, we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done; nor how learnedly we have spoken, but how religiously we have lived.”
Yet again, the need for humility is evident. All of the virtues work together. Increase our humility-the virtue by which we know and accept our proper place in creation-and an increased love for truth will follow.
Let us all continue to daily increase our love for the truth until we can exclaim with Thomas à Kempis: “O Truth! my God, make me one with thee in eternal love. I am wearied with often reading and hearing many things; in thee is all that I will or desire. Let all teachers hold their peace; let all creatures be silent in thy sight; speak thou alone to me.”