Another Mystic, Thomas Aquinas, Speaking Out on Truth

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, shown in a window of St. Dominic’s Priory Church in London. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP on Flickr.

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.

“Speak Truth to Power,” an animation exploring the ongoing fight for racial justice, developed by the Student Commission on Racial Justice to encourage awareness of the reality of racial injustice. Leaders Unlocked

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?

Recommended Reading

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

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5 thoughts on “Another Mystic, Thomas Aquinas, Speaking Out on Truth”

  1. Avatar

    The lack of truth that runs rampant in our country is a good reason for us to sit back and contemplate what the Constitution means to us. It is a living document that stands for who we are, as Americans, Freedom of speech does not mean that one has the freedom to lie and pass on false information that encourages disruption of our truths that create a belief that tarnishes our democracy. The words “ false news” and the belief that some of our most respected news agencies are spreading lies is not news but opinions that cause many people in our country to doubt the efficacy of one of our most trustworthy freedoms to elect an individual fairly chosen by popular vote. Personally I pray everyday for our country and our fairly elected individuals to serve our country by placing their hand on the Holy Bible and promise to uphold the Constitution.

  2. Avatar

    I continue to struggle with the daunting truth that the dark side of ‘our’ magnificent cosmos is that on ‘our’ miniscule planet both nature and human nature are ‘red in truth and claw’ …. we are justice makers and we are predators … we raise our voices for peace and go like lemmings over a cliff making war …. we create awesome beauty while we fashion mountains of infernal weapons … we try to monitor ‘natural’ invasive species of which we are the paramount example…

  3. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    Thank you for your comment Mathew, about Heart Math. I have read two books on this and it confirms and validates what Jesus often spoke the truth of, which we read in scripture. The words, “justice is rare, and injustice thrives,” is what I have negatively experienced, in speaking truth to power.

    There is an Iconic image that arises for me, which relates to what is given voice to, in today’s DM, and that is the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It’s the differences in the images of these two icons, of that which surrounds the heart within both… that tells the story of what one experiences and encounters in the journey of Truth and Justice.

    In the first icon, we see a crown of thorns, piercing the heart aflame with truth… there will be suffering and sorrow, yet the Spirit is aflame within you. In the second, we see a crown of blooming roses… the Justice of Love will unfold, evolve and emerge, through the heart of Compassion in bloom, releasing its fragrance.

    Both you will experience and encounter in the journey of Truth and Justice… while tethered to the eternal flame, the Spirit of LOVE and Compassion and the incarnate essence and presence of this… there embodied within your own heart… while in the midst of injustice.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, I really like the connection you have made between the images of “the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary” and how you relate them to the virtues of Justice and Love…

  4. Avatar

    On my spiritual journey that includes studying the mystics of all genuine spiritual traditions, past and present, and indigenous spirituality, the ‘heart’ within us seems to be the universal symbol for the sacred within all of us. It’s also referred to as our True Heart Self~Sacred Eternal Soul, our unique sacred microcosm in Loving Wisdom Beautiful Oneness within the Sacred Macrocosm of All ongoing co-Creation~Incarnation~Evolution….

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