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Saturday, 29 May 2010

Truth, what is the truth?

Today is the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. The gospel is taken from John 16:12-15. As it is only a short gospel I post it here completely:

Jesus said to his disciples:

I still have many things to say to you
but they would be too much for you now.
But when the Spirit of truth comes
he will lead you to the complete truth,
since he will not be speaking as from himself
but will say only what he has learnt;
and he will tell you of the things to come.
He will glorify me,
since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine.
Everything the Father has is mine;
that is why I said:
All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.
I am home in the Netherlands at the moment (hence the unusual picture above; it has been a few years since I last sat on my 'old' horse). Being at home, the topic of Truth is always on my mind. It is such a different world here compared with being in Ireland. In Ireland I always have the feeling there is still some religious undertone in society, even though it might be weak. In the Netherlands I do not sense this at all...

This might just be because I had absolutely no idea of religion when I was living here, and as such just don't have any religious association with Dutch society. Obviously, in Ireland I do, as I have been living there most of my time as an active Catholic, practically since my baptism in 2003. It always raises the question; how is it to live without knowledge of the truth, without the truth being made clear and without having this solid foundation in live?

I didn't miss it, at least not in a conscious way, before I came to Ireland. I didn't know anything about God, and it is hard to miss something if you do not know about. I always hold that I was searching for something, something I just did not know, and that it was only after encountering God that I realized this. Would I like to go back to the live of ignorance, so to speak? No, absolutely not, there is now a fullness in live which I never experienced before, a completeness which was missing.

As the Gospel teaches us, God leads us gently towards the truth. "I still have many things to say to you
but they would be too much for you now",  and I think it is amazing how God does this. We can see it in the development of doctrine, for example the Trinity in todays feast, but experiential, maybe even more so in somebodies life. It is hard though to see so many people around you of whom you can guess don't have a notion at all of the Good News, and the especially here in the Netherlands it seems that there is such a gab between God and the world... the Gospel needs to be preached, but how to reach so many people who seem so far away from receiving it!

Well, I guess this was not really a reflection on the Gospel or the feast but just some thoughts... more questions than answers... but I better go back to the family...

4 comments:

RAnn said...

It is such a shame that Christianity has become a historical note in rather than active part of European life.

kkollwitz said...

"I always hold that I was searching for something, something I just did not know, and that it was only after encountering God that I realized this. Would I like to go back to the live of ignorance, so to speak? No, absolutely not, there is now a fullness in life which I never experienced before, a completeness which was missing."

This is terrific.

When my wife & I watch movies, we're always noting that the characters rarely behave as if they have any faith of any kind, and this lack of faith colors how they react and respond to events in the plotline.

Moonshadow said...

I have a friend who grew up in the Netherlands and she was just back to visit about a month ago. She's very strong, Dutch Reformed (Heidelberg Catechism) but the absence of faith in her homeland is "matter of fact." I can't imagine.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Your statement about searching for something you did not know reminds me of St. Augustine's word, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee." I am glad you found God in Ireland and sad that Europe has turned its back on Him.

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