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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

Copyright © 2020, becomingflame.com

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Love included

The “truth” that makes another man seem cheap hides another truth that we should never forget, and which would make him remain always worthy of honor in our sight. To destroy truth with truth under the pretext of being sincere is a very insincere way of telling a lie.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sincerity

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If love is not in the truth I tell, then I’m not telling the whole truth.

Not telling the whole truth reveals the truth that I am not whole.

That I am not whole means I am part of the problem.

When Jesus says Repent, he asks me to own up to that.

Then he says, Follow me and I will make you whole, part of the solution, able to tell the whole truth, love included.

dw

Copyright © 2020, becomingflame.com

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Disorganized souls

…our need for truth is inescapable.

Instead of conforming ourselves to what is, we twist everything around, in our words and thoughts, to fit our own deformity.

The seat of this deformity is in the will. Although we still may speak the truth, we are more and more losing our desire to live according to the truth. Our wills are not true, because they refuse to accept the laws of our own being: they fail to work along the lines demanded by our own reality. Our wills are plunged in false values, and they have dragged our minds along with them, and our restless tongues bear constant witness to the disorganization inside our souls.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Sincerity

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I’m not sure I can imagine a better description of where we are, as a culture, right now.

Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

May God help us. Amen.

dw

Copyright © 2020, becomingflame.com