In responding to a current trial against a prominent news agency that traffics in lies, we have called on mystics like Teresa of Avila, Jesus, Sister Dorothy Stang, and others.
Thomas Aquinas offers insight about truth when he says that “the proper objects of the heart are truth and justice.” If he is right, then our society may be inviting lots of heart attacks, heart seizures and heartbreaks to the extent that falsity rules the air waves and faux news outlets and social media clouds and all the rest.
It must be very bad food for the heart to dine on falsehoods and lies. Those who deliver them are drawing astounding salaries for doing so. Further testimony from Rupert Murdoch (called the “number one killer of American democracy” this week by the former prime minster of Australia where Murdoch was born and began his career in journalism) reveals still more about how lies sell in the media today. And make certain people very rich.
But Aquinas and bell hooks both warn us that the heart needs truth to survive. And justice that so often goes with it. “The heart of justice is truth telling.” So while our hearts need truth, truth needs justice and hooks says truth is the very heart of justice.
Aquinas teaches that justice is a path to Divinity when he says, “the vision of God is arrived at through justice.”
To look at it negatively, where lies and falsehoods thrive, justice is rare and injustice thrives. Fix falsehoods and we are on the road to fixing injustices. Allow falsehoods to thrive and justice will become rarer and rarer. Injustice reigns.
Aquinas also argues that the Holy Spirit is involved in truth finding and truth sharing and truth caring when he says, “revelation has been made to many pagans” because “every truth without exception—and whoever may utter it—is from the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is the carrier of truth, to hunt after and gather truth is to encounter the Holy Spirit, to invite the Spirit in.
Meditation, whatever kind we participate in, invites silence and listening and truth into the room and into the heart. And the Holy Spirit with it.
This means scientists who pass on truth are passing on the Holy Spirit; and artists, architects, musicians, playwrights and film makers, and all who are trying to speak truth to us are passing on the Holy Spirit. And surely those prophets who dare to speak truth to power.
Spirit is everywhere where truth is being honored.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, pp. 101-112, 71, 109-111. 65f.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: “Truth and Justice.” Architectural Sculptures by William Silver Frith, London, 1893. Photo by Steve Way on Flickr.
Queries for Contemplation
What are your experiences of Truth and Holy Spirit arriving together into your heart from many corners and quarters in your life?
The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times
A stunning spiritual handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of Aquinas’ mystical/prophetic genius, offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
Foreword by Ilia Delio.
“What a wonderful book! Only Matt Fox could bring to life the wisdom and brilliance of Aquinas with so much creativity. The Tao of Thomas Aquinas is a masterpiece.”
–Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit