From Sabine Schwartz, Catholic Chaplain:
In our secular society, religious people in general and we Christians especially tend to have a bad reputation. We seem to be perceived by some as people who believe that they are in possession of absolute truth and therefore are entitled or even obliged to impose this truth on everyone else. We are supposed to have an answer for everything, and this answer, of course is ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’, even if we don’t quite know yet what the question is.
Do you recognise yourself in this description? I don’t, and I believe not many of you will. I don’t know many Christians who come anywhere close to this caricature. As a person of faith, I do not believe that I possess the truth, mainly because the truth cannot be possessed or controlled. I would, however, like to be able to say that I am possessed by the Truth, i.e. that whatever is true and right has the ultimate hold on my life. The truth I believe in is not a concept or a series of ‘hard facts’ or doctrinal statements, but rather a living, dynamic reality whose ultimate foundation is God. It is a matter not just for study and reasoned discussion, but also for contemplation -but above all for the constant transformation of my way of living, opening myself to those aspects of life and truth that I have not yet grasped- and to those that I find uncomfortable or frightening.
In many churches we have celebrated the feast the Holy Trinity on Sunday – the mystery that is God, of whom we can only understand what God chooses to reveal to us and what we choose to accept in faith. In the Gospel reading that the lectionary offers us this year, Jesus speaks of the “Spirit of Truth [who] will lead you to the complete truth”, including those things which are “too much for you now”. (John 16: 7-12)
The late Brazilian bishop Dom Helder Camara once wrote: “Do not fear the truth, hard as it may appear, grievously as it may hurt, it is still right, and you were born for it. If you go out to meet and love it, let it exercise your mind, it is your best friend and closest sister.”