Culture, Christianity, Catholic Dogma & The Death Of The West

Culture, Christianity, Catholic Dogma & The Death Of The West

Open Book
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We are all guilty, at one time or another, of failing to reveal God's truths to a fellow human being who needed to hear it. But here are some words of wisdom to encourage our faint-heartedness:

"If we do not tell others the truth, it is perhaps because we feel they are not disposed to accept it, but also it is often through cowardice, through self-centeredness, because we have not the courage to face up to their displeasure. Because we fear to offend them we do not dare to love them truly and to the bitter end. For loving others means seeking what is for their good, even in spite of themselves. Loving others means helping them to bring about within themselves the triumph of truth over their paltry day-to-day "reality". Loving means helping every man to learn God's plan for him. Indisputably, charity of this kind forbids us to allow others what we know is not for their own good. The true lover is he who faithfully, patiently, realistically and in silence...strives to help others to bring to fruition what is best within them.

In today's world millions of souls are deprived of the living bread of truth, and this is a situation which we have no right to tolerate. The fact is that we tolerate it all too easily. To compromise with this situation is to fail to love. It is not a question here of fighting, but of saving. Too widely it is thought there is no middle ground between conflict and complicity. There is, and that is love, love which does not resign itself to seeing men outside what it knows to be the true life and which seeks to help them all realize that life, love which goes forth boldly among all men.

But if the highest form of charity is to hand on the truth, yet that truth must be handed on with charity. There is a manner of serving truth , which precisely because it is not sufficiently accomplished in charity, is in the end harmful to truth.

We are all too fully aware that there can be something far less than perfect in the way in which we serve truth. Truth becomes our affair, its triumph our triumph. The moment we begin to think that way it is no longer truth we are serving, but ourselves. And we are pleased with ourselves for possessing the truth while others do not; our attitude towards others becomes proprietary and superior.

The attitude we should adopt is very different. I should say to myself, "I am as poor as the next man, Of myself I have absolutely nothing. The truth is not my truth. It is something that has been given to me, and I should be aware how ill I have received it; so I should simply bear witness to it, conscious of my unworthiness of it. Far from telling others, "Do as I do," I must say, "Imitate Jesus Christ; He is the true life. I am only an imperfect witness who has followed Him. What I testify to has been given to me and is infinitely greater than I, and is the common good of all men." In that way I can serve truth in humility without humiliating truth."

Another deformation in the matter of presenting the truth would be to seek rapid and visible results. "Charitas patiens est," says St Paul, but patience does not mean resignation. Patience is an eminently active virtue. Without trying to rush God's plan, one must enter into its long waiting, its delays. This involves an attitude of respect towards persons, a middle way between an aggressive proselytism and a psuedo-tolerance which would put out beliefs on the same level."

And so we see that charity and truth are intimately bound up one with the other."

Fr Jean Danielou