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Half the civilized world

How is it that our comfortable society has lost its sense of the value of truthfulness? Life has become so easy that we think we can get along without telling the truth…

But the whole world has learned to deride veracity or to ignore it. Half the civilized world makes a living by telling lies. Advertising, propaganda, and all the other forms of publicity that have taken place of truth have taught men to take it for granted that they can tell other people whatever they like provided that it sounds plausible and evokes some kind of shallow emotional response.

No Man is an Island, Thomas Merton, “Sincerity”

Merton published this in 1955. Yes, 1955. Television in its infancy. No internet.

The attack on Truth that is relentless now has been relentless since the very beginning, the Deceiver saying in the Garden of Eden, “Did God really say…?”

Deceit pits us against each other, makes us see each other as deceivers, as enemies. It causes us to pronounce judgement on each other. Our compassion is throttled by fear for our own well being, that we are somehow being tricked or scammed.

But we all have a common Enemy, the one whom scripture calls “the father of lies.” Why he hates us, I don’t understand; but he does.

I can’t help but think that if we could remember we all have this common Enemy; if we could all embrace the wondrous news that we also have a common Friend and Ally, who came to bear witness to Truth and who gave himself up to rescue us and secure us forever in his Kingdom of Truth…oh, if we could remember and embrace these things, what a difference it would make!

Come, Spirit of God, Spirit of Jesus, Come!

dw

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Profound joy

 

CHRISTIANS MUST ALWAYS NOURISH in their hearts the fullness of joy. Try to do that, sisters and brothers. I have tried it many times, and in the most bitter situations, when slander and persecution are at their worst, I have united myself intimately with Christ as my friend, and I have tasted a sweetness that all the joys of earth cannot give. It is the joy of God’s intimacy, the profoundest joy the heart can experience, even when people don’t understand you.

Romero, Oscar. The Scandal of Redemption (Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics) (p. 35). Plough Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

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6 In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith— being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire— may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:6-9

Harper Bibles. NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Kindle Locations 87282-87287). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.