This discovery of love as a source of knowledge, which is part of the primordial experience of every man and woman, finds authoritative expression in the biblical understanding of faith. In savouring the love by which God chose them and made them a people, Israel came to understand the overall unity of the divine plan. Faith-knowledge, because it is born of God’s covenantal love, is knowledge which lights up a path in history.
That is why, in the Bible, truth and fidelity go together: the true God is the God of fidelity who keeps his promises and makes possible, in time, a deeper understanding of his plan. Through the experience of the prophets, in the pain of exile and in the hope of a definitive return to the holy city, Israel came to see that this divine "truth" extended beyond the confines of its own history, to embrace the entire history of the world, beginning with creation. Faith-knowledge sheds light not only on the destiny of one particular people, but the entire history of the created world, from its origins to its consummation.
Lumen Fidei 28
Reflection – I’m late today posting (for those few poor souls out there who are obsessive readers of my blog and value my regular habits), because yesterday was a trying day of cancelled and delayed flights, lost luggage and general unpleasantness, all of which happened while I nurse a bad cold. So I slept in this morning, here in Ottawa at my cousin’s house. No blog tomorrow, as I return from Ottawa to Combermere, then back to normal on Monday.
I wanted to follow through with this last bit of LF that we’ve been reading this week. It puts it all together in a very beautiful and comprehensive way. Essentially the unity of truth and love in the vision of faith means that truth is fundamentally a relationship. We do not fully apprehend the truth of reality unless we enter into a relationship with reality—it is not some list of facts, random or otherwise, to which we are forced to accede or be crushed underfoot.
Rather, truth comes out of a love affair, not with this or that finite individual, but with God. There is a nuptial quality to the whole matter, a call to fidelity and in that call to fidelity, an experience of joyous union and fruitful living.
This is such a far cry from how the normal discussion or experience of all these matters go. There, on the one hand, there is the monolithic truth of dogma, enforced by the tyrannical inquisitorial Church. On the other hand, there are men and women (or men and men, or women and women) trying to find some love and peace in this life and forging whatever path they can find towards beauty.
To realize that God is as loving as the Bible reveals Him to be, and that He meets us on all the paths we try to forge of peace, beauty, and joy, not to crush us, not to stomp out these paths and cruelly thwart us, but to redirect our paths towards true peace and beauty—this changes everything.
And you know, He does this for everyone, not just for ‘those people over there who are living wrongly – shame on them!’ – which can be the terrible and deeply uncharitable attitude of many Christians. All of us are, to some degree or another, on a wrong path of peace and beauty. All of us need conversion, all of us need to be thwarted by our loving Father and have our feet set on a better path. Sometimes the more subtly wrong paths, the more seemingly virtuous ways of life that are just slightly off kilter can take us more badly astray in the end, because they look so upright, so clean and wholesome.
Anyhow, God loves us and wants to be in a love affair with us, and all these matters of truth and faith, love and truth, faith and love—all wind around and lead from and to that central loving truth about God. And without that love affair and that vision of God, all our efforts to discuss what is true and false, good and evil, are a little bit off, don’t take us where we need to be taken. And I think that loss of vision of God and His passionate love is at the heart of why we don’t get very far these days in our discussions and debates.
Anyhow, I’m feeling pretty lousy, so I’m going to have a nap now! Talk to you all on Monday.