Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Verifying Truth

If it can't be verified through experience, then it is not true. In a Christian context, even more particularly in a Catholic milieu, Giussani's dangerous idea remains controversial, even, I suspect, among many in the Movement. If I take seriously the fact that Christ became human to appease my longing, then being uncompromisingly true to my longing, my desire, must lead me to Him. If it does not, despite whatever steep, rocky, twisting, winding roads, and dead end allies my desire leads me (God knows I have taken plenty and that, even now, I wander), then it is not true. The extent to which I am suspicious of this is equal to how much I am lacking in faith, which is a form of knowledge that arises from my experience. I think it is the desire to impose values that often makes Christianity unattractive in our late modern milieu. It is not a question of whether or not to take a stand, or that being a Christian lacks a certain and true content, but how we stand: witness in the form of service, or, diakonia.

I am quite sure that, taking a cue from Giussani, this is what Pope Benedict meant when, at the beginning of Deus Caritas Est, he wrote: "Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction."

This also addresses the issue of not adhering to values, but to Christ, which is nothing other than the old question about faith and works. In following Christ what I hold dear becomes ever more apparent to me, my life as a disciple takes a certain form; being a witness of the encounter which, for me, became an event. Hence, obedience- that dangerous and heavy word- can never be mindless or unquestioning adherence to something imposed on me from outside. Truth is an experience and so must correspond with what is inside of me. If it does not, then it is enslaving and not liberating.

The truth is inside me because I am a direct relationship with the Mystery.

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