November 13, 2017 | Reflections from Sr Antonia

There was a difficulty and it seemed insurmountable. Usually a difficulty cannot be resolved by going around it to avoid it and, in this situation, I could not even consider avoidance as a possibility. There was just no room to go around it, above it or beneath it; if I wanted to go forward it meant going through it.

I sought counsel from a very God- centered, trusted friend. The advice I received was the advice I had already given myself. Live it in TRUTH.

“Truth! What is that”? Pilate asked Jesus. I softly asked myself the same question. What is the truth in this situation? How do I live it in truth?

I find this a very difficult question. If any one of us was asked to define the opposite of truth we would most probably say without too much pondering, “a lie”. The lie is something that diverts from reality, denies reality, the reality of a person or of a person’s situation. The ultimate liar is of course satan, the deceiver, the one who tempts us to despair, doubt, and despondency, who incites division and suspicion. (Have you ever noticed how many “d” words can be associated with the deceiver or “S” words with satan? Yet, even my reflecting on this is a diversion, a diversion I need to resist for this moment.)

So the question remains… what is truth for me in this situation?

Truth is, ultimately, not a concept but a PERSON. “I am the way the truth and the life” he tells us. Truth, Way, Life go hand in hand. Live in him and you will live in the truth and know the way. In fact you will be walking on the way, for he is the way. So simple to say, so hard to do. The more we TRY to grasp the truth intellectually (as I am doing now!) the further we can tend to move away from it. And the more we TRY to live it, the harder it becomes. Why? Because, ultimately, truth is a relationship, a deeply personal relationship.

I have found it enormously helpful to try to identify truth in another; to recognise truth being lived in another in order to see how I might try to allow truth to live in myself. I suggest you try it. Apart from Jesus is there a person or persons for whom you could say she/he typifies truth? What IS it about this person? More to the point what is the TRUTH of any person? The answer is, of course, the life of God in that person.

St. Bernard of Clairveaux, who lived so deeply in relationship with Christ, would say truth is expressed in us in HUMILITY. We have the model for ourselves in the Jesus of the Gospels.

Red Crucifixion by Daniel Bonnell

And so, as always in the spiritual life, it comes to this: enter into silence; listen; quieten the thoughts; still the emotions; surrender to God and wait. His coming is as certain as the dawn. In the depth of this relational silence… which is humility, I will recognise that I only know that I do not know. I must not deceive myself about this. I only know that I do not know.

This is how we come to live truth, speak truth, be truth and see truth. We become humble enough to allow the relationship with God, which is truth, to be borne in us.

I need to allow life to live me rather than trying to live life.

This is TRUTH