8th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A - 26th February, 2017
"I suppose I often told a lie where the truth wouldn't fit!"
These were the mischievous words of a once-homeless lady. Now, in later life, she felt strongly that deep down, there is a deep longing in each of us to live by the truth.
Truth in childhood
Truth always seemed to go so well with childhood innocence. There may have been moments of brief denial when, in fear, we did not own up to the fact that we broke a precious ornament, a family memento, when we knew we were in for some punishment. However, we instinctively knew that we had to speak the truth at all times. You may hear echoes of a childhood maxim: 'Tell the truth and shame the devil!'
In the last few years, all kinds of expressions have emerged to explain the absence of truth or transparency. Some choose to be simply 'economical with the truth' while others speak of alternate facts and fake news. These are cosmetic names for what are simply blatant lies
The beauty of truth
St. John Paul II wrote an encyclical called Veritatis Splendor, The Beauty of Truth. In this we read that all truth is in God; all of us seek in our hearts to live by the truth; when we fail to live by truth we are always restless and never at peace with ourselves.
Someone once said that we should always tell the truth because in that way we don't have to remember what we said! But, there are better reasons. There is the eighth commandment: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
Two-word resolutions for Lent:
(From the Catechism of the Catholic church) - Choose one!
No judgement: (No rash judgements)
No detraction: Disclosing the faults of someone you know, to another, who was never aware of them before.
No calumny: Harming the reputation of others leading to false judgements.
Fr. Michael McCullagh C.M.