WE NEED to know the intimate relation among this triad. Christ said it very clearly, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (Jn 14,15) And more than that, he also said that it is when we love him by following his commandments that the Spirit of truth would be with us and would lead us to the truth.
This is what he said: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. (Jn 14,16-17)
It is important that we meditate on these words of Christ very closely if only to understand the relation of how love of Christ is achieved by keeping his commandments and how that love can lead us to the truth that nowadays is being twisted and distorted according to one’s whims and caprices, one’s biases and prejudices, creating all sorts of spins and narratives to suit one’s interest at the expense of truth itself.
This distortion of truth is most especially noticed nowadays in the fields of politics, journalism, and even in the sciences, philosophies and ideologies. Even open, unmitigated lies are peddled, and done with so much self-confidence and aplomb that it would seem that the devil, the father of lies, is having a heyday.
Many people nowadays just say and write, opine and claim or proclaim something with hardly any regard to our duty to check things with Christ first. They seem convinced that God has nothing to do with whatever they would be saying or claiming.
As a result, in spite of the powerful means of communication we are having, what we are having are more and worsening differences and conflicts. Instead of unity, we have graver division. Instead of generating more understanding and charity, we have growing cases of anger and hatred.
We need to remind ourselves strongly that we can only manage to achieve real love for God and for one another, and to be in the truth, when we truly follow and love Christ. We should dismiss any thought that tells us that we can manage to have them outside of Christ.
These days, it’s clear that the pressure to just say and write with hardly any reference to Christ is quite strong and seemingly irresistible. But we should just fight against that tendency.
With Christ, not only would we be in the truth. We would also be charitable, knowing when and how to say or assert anything. We have to be reminded that for truth to be real truth, it has to be charitable. Truth and charity always go together, though we should not understand charity as simply being sugary and always pleasing. Charity can have a bitter taste too.
And to be in the truth does not mean that we only use facts and data. Christ used many literary devices like parables, similes, metaphors, hyperboles and oxymorons to proclaim the truth. These literary devices were not meant to deceive us. They were not lies.
We too can use these literary devices but they should always be inspired by the spirit of Christ, for that can only assure us that these devices would point us to the truth. Again, let us realize more deeply the close and indispensable relation among love, the commandments of Christ, and the Spirit of truth. By Fr. Roy Cimagala (EV Mail May 8-14, 2023 issue)