A meditation on Truth vs. Lies

The Way, Truth, and Lies(?)

A meditation on Truth vs. Lies


00:11 – Speaker 1
Welcome everybody to this special Twitter Spaces session. If you’re catching this on demand, which most of you will be, thank you for checking this out. You’re finding me on Twitter, x at 4 the Queen BVM. If you’re listening to this on demand in my podcast catalog or on my website or whatever, I encourage you very strongly to follow me on X at 4 the Queen BVM. If you don’t have an account on X, let me tell you I am the one and only reason you will want to start an account on X and follow me at 4 the Queen BVM. All kinds of stuff you could be missing. Pardon that sip of tea Today I’m going to be talking to you about.

Well, let me go through the title real quick. The title of this Spaces session, or the title of this little podcast, is the Way, the Truth and the Lies Truth versus the Liar. Last Sunday I did a podcast titled what is Truth. It’s something that I’m harping on a lot lately. Today I’m going to talk to you about the life of truth and why that means something. Jesus talks about it. He even talks about the opposite of truth and life when he talks about lies and murder. So we’re going to go through some scripture here and talk about that. I think you’ll find it really kind of illuminating. Sometimes I sort of frame these shows like they’re going to be very brainy and boring, but I assure you I am not a genius and I like things to be interesting and when I deliver them, I like to make them interesting. So I hope you stick with me and if you get something out of this, please share it.

I also have a special announcement to make, which I’m going to do right now and it’s going to be very brief, okay, and it’s related to this podcast. This is why I’m doing this now. On this episode, I’m going to start a new podcast series called Meditations. At least I think that’s what I’m going to call it. That’s the plan right now. The name may change, but I think I’m going to call it Meditations, a new podcast series. It’ll be available on my website and probably on iTunes etc. But the thing is to put something on iTunes and everybody else that costs a little bit of money, because then you need a podcast publishing subscription and they publish it to iTunes or they host they kind of host the files on their server and then, long story short, to go to iTunes and all the rest of them. It does cost a little bit of money. I may not want to do that, so I may make it available only on my website, so that I can I can kind of control it all, because I’m already paying for my website. I’m already paying for that, but it’s going to be called Meditations. It’ll be at least available on my website, maybe on iTunes at Al. If you’re looking for guided meditation, you won’t find it there. I do some guided meditations for subscribers on my website.

The Meditations podcast is going to be a little bit different. Meditations will be essentially what I’m doing in this episode, right here, right now, today. It’ll be essentially the same thing as what I’m about to do today. I’m going to read something from Scripture, analyze it and share and you know, share with you what we can glean from it, and then after that I would encourage you to bring it to your own meditation. So the Meditations podcast will help to provide some material on which to meditate, some material for you to meditate on. We’ll explore Scripture for that, for that podcast, and probably I’m going to rely heavily on the imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis, because that’s great, fantastic meditation material. So that’s the announcement A new podcast, probably going to start that this week, called Meditations.

Keep up with my Twitter feed at ForTheQueenBVM or X and check in on my website, catholicadventurercom. If you want to be a part of that, you want to check it out, download it, listen to it. Hopefully it enriches you Meditations. It’s going to be good. It’s going to be really good. If you want to know what that’s going to be like, just sit tight, because we’re going to do something like it in this episode here. So Aquinas and Augustine, two heavy hitters of Catholic thought and certainly of Western philosophy, tell us that God is the eternal truth. He is the eternal truth, he is truth itself, and everything that proceeds from him, which is everything in reality, is also a truth. You are a truth, I am a truth.

A car is a truth, and a car, for example, remains a truth until we start to modify it and then it becomes a lie. I covered this in my what Is Truth podcast on Sunday, and just a quick hello to Big Russ, who just joined us on this Twitter space. Thank you, big Russ, for checking this out. So a car remains a truth until it is changed substantially. I explained in the podcast what can make something no longer true. For instance, when something is no longer ontologically true, it’s no longer it’s real self, it’s no longer a truth. So when something changes in a way that’s substantial, it becomes a lie. That car is a truth until we remove one of the wheels. Just removing one wheel brings that car from a truth to a lie, because now the car cannot do what it was designed to do. Let’s put the wheel back on. Now it’s got all four wheels and we remove the windows and the windshield. Well, now we’ve changed something. So is it still a truth? Yes, it is, because we haven’t changed it in a way that makes it unable to perform its function. You understand, the car, without its windows, still exists in a state that’s in accord with its intrinsic nature or purpose. It is still a truth. People it’s the same way With people. It’s the same way. We are a truth until we change in such a way that we are substantially different.

Let me first cover a tree very quickly. A tree is a tree. It’s made of its wood, right, that’s its substance, its wood. You chop it down it’s still wood. You cut it up into boards or planks it’s still wood. You cut it into toothpicks it’s still wood. You can put it in a wood chipper it’s still wood. What comes out of that wood chipper is still wood. What happens when it’s no longer a tree, but it’s still wood? What happens when you burn it? It’s no longer wood. It’s changed substantially Now, formally substantially. People can change substantially too. We call that mortal sin. And how do we restore ourselves to a state of truth? Confession, penance and so on. That’s and that’s all I’m gonna say about that. I’ll talk more about that in what is truth, part two, which I’ll do probably a week from today. So a truth is a truth until it has changed substantially. Okay, we’ve got that part figured out, great.

Now let’s talk about Scripture, where Jesus talks about this very topic. Truth, right? First thing I want to bring you to is this Scripture quote right here, which I’ll have to look it up. But rather than make you wait for it, let me just tell you, tell you from memory. Jesus said come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. You don’t know how long or how much time I’ve spent meditating on that, because it’s a little confusing. I have never felt at ease or unburdened as a Christian. I think some Christians possibly do. I don’t. I never feel at ease. I never feel at ease All you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. I’ve never felt that rest. I really haven’t. I think some Christians genuinely have, but I think most have not, because I don’t think Jesus is talking about actual rest.

Jesus starts out with the word come, come. All you are, all of you who are, who are labored, who labor and are heavy burdened. The words come and label labor and burden, because if you’re laying down with weight on you, you’re not burdened. You’re only burdened when you’re carrying it right. These are dynamic terms. Come, labor, carrying a burden, and when you go to Jesus, what does he promise you? Rest, stillness. So we have a sort of action, we have action words and we have stability words Action words and stability words.

I’m going to cover this more in the in in what is truth, part two. But in part one I mentioned that truth is both stable and dynamic and those two elements are inseparable. Truth is good, and good is true. The good is the dynamic part. A characteristic of the good is its dynamic, supports or sustains life. It does, it does, whereas truth simply is Goodness does action. Truth is stability.

Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you the truth, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart. I think the yoke Jesus is talking about here is becoming like him. His yoke is meekness, humility. And then he tells us you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light, which to me is kind of funny, because humility is pretty heavy stuff. Humility is hard. I’m sure there are many layers to that scripture that I haven’t peeled back, but that’s what I get from it Up to now and I’ve been meditating on and off on that scripture. Man, it’s got to be three, four years. I have returned to that scripture to meditate on it and you’ll find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy and burden is light.

So it’s a call really to become like Jesus, to become like God, and in this formula. We are seeing action and stability. Come rest the good and the true. We’re seeing action and stability right, because that is what truth is. That is what truth is. We are a degraded state of truth because of sin Not just actual sins that we do, but because of more, I’m sorry, because of original sin. So we’re already a degree less than the truth we were designed to be. Our journey to heaven involves a change, requires a change of nature, where we become more and more and more like what God designed us to be. To put it simply, we have to become like God in order to be with him forever, because we were made to be like God. Like, not as, just like. Don’t start flying the heresy flag just yet. It’s not a heresy. The saints have said this.

Now I think my scriptures here are out of order. Just give me a moment, please. I want to say hello and again, thank you to Big Russ for joining me there. I think this is a world record. I think Big Russ is hanging out longer than anyone has ever hung out in one of my Twitter spaces. Okay, okay, okay. This is the one, I think. Alright, these next two scripture passages are very important. Actually, what I’m going to do is I’m going to do this one first. I’m going to do three more this one that I’m about to read from John, chapter 18. And then the next two, very, very important. They’re the entire point of this episode.

Pontius Pilate is talking to Jesus. He’s basically interrogating him. He’s trying to find some way of letting Jesus off the hook. Not because he cares about Jesus, just for political reasons. He’s between a rock and a hard place. The people want him crucified, but Pontius Pilate has been reprimanded severely by the emperor because Pontius Pilate was being too brutal with people. And the emperor said you better knock that stuff off immediately. So the people want Pontius Pilate to be brutal with Jesus, but Caesar has warned him repeatedly. Now Pontius Pilate is interrogating or interviewing Jesus and what’s interesting here is that Pontius Pilate does not recognize the truth. Pontius Pilate is looking the truth in the face, but he doesn’t recognize him. You understand, you understand the illusion there. At this, pilate said sorry, in order of the world, the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, but he said indicating the kind of death he would die.

So Pilate went back into the Praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him are you the king of the Jews. Jesus answered do you say this on your own or have others told you about me? Jesus loves to be cryptic. He loves to withhold answers or give answers by how he withholds answers. Pilate answered him I’m not a Jew. Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done? And Jesus answered my kingdom does not belong to this world. Dot dot dot. My kingdom does not belong to this world. So Pilate said to him. Then you are a king. Jesus answered you say that I’m a king? Pause, you see how Jesus answers without answering.

Remember, in Sunday’s episode I said you can tell facts without telling the truth. Well, sometimes you can tell the truth without disclosing facts. Jesus does it all the time. In fact, god does in the Old Testament lots of times, because truth does not boil down to facts. Facts are involved in truth, but truth is much, much more than facts. My kingdom does not belong to this world.

Let’s go back to when Jesus was being interrogated before the Sanhedrin. I order you, he said I think this is the high priest. I order you to tell us, under oath, before the late God, whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God. So they’re asking if he’s the Messiah. Pilate is asking him if he’s a king. Well, he’s both, and yet he’s more than that. Pilate asked him if he’s a king and Jesus said my kingdom does not belong to this world. So I am a king, but I’m much more than what you think a king is.

The Jews are asking if he’s a Messiah. Well, he is the Messiah, but he’s much more than that. What does he say? Are you the Messiah? Jesus says you have said so. It’s kind of like how he tells Pilate you say that I’m a king, right, are you the Messiah? Jesus says you have said so. But I tell you, from now on, you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of power and coming in on the clouds of heaven. Damn, wow, jesus. Answering this way is an illusion. Allusion with an A, an allusion to the Old Testament, I think the book of Daniel. But Jesus, in the way that he’s withholding a fact, he’s telling a truth. Right, you have said so. But I tell you in other words well, you say I’m a Messiah, but because there’s a but, there’s more to the story. Right, you have said so. But I tell you, from now on, you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven, interesting.

Let’s go back to the Praetorium. My kingdom does not belong to this world. He said to Pilate. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendance would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not here.

So Pilate turns to him again and says then you are a king. And Jesus says you say that I’m a king For this. This is the nailer here, folks. For this I was born and for this I came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice. Pilate, still confused, not recognizing the truth, staring him in the face, says to Jesus what is truth? The end? I wish Jesus had answered that, whatever.

So for the moment, we’re establishing truth in this podcast, the way the truth and the liar, truth versus the liar. We’re doing the truth part right now. Right, you say that I’m a king For this. I was born to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice. He does not say everyone who belongs to the truth hears my voice, but listens. What’s the difference? People can hear without listening, people can hear without paying attention. Or people can hear and pay attention but not act on what they’re hearing. That’s what a listener does. It takes a lot of time to listen to the truth. It takes more than just believing in Jesus Christ to become the truth, to become saved. It takes more than that. The devil believes in him. So what? Everyone who belongs to the truth or is on the side of the truth listens to his voice, doesn’t just hear it, but listens, abides.

And there’s finally one last scripture which I forgot to look up. But Jesus says I have come that they might have life and have it to the fullest, life to the fullest. I’ve come that they might have life to the fullest. Jesus isn’t merely talking about eternal life there, but he is talking about that. But it’s not just eternal life, he’s talking about life to the fullest. I have come that they might have life and have it to the fullest. I have been born into this world to testify to the truth. The truth will set you free.

I’m stringing together different passages. If you don’t know scripture, then let me. Let’s let you know, stringing together a few passages. The truth will set you free I came, that they might have life and have it to the fullest. Not familiar yet. I am the way, the truth and the life. I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me. So Jesus calls himself the way, the truth and the life. He pairs truth with life. He pairs union with him, who is truth himself, with life to the fullest. Truth gives life.

There’s no wonder then why Jesus, in talking about the devil, refers to him as a liar and a murderer. John, chapter 8, verse 44, you belong to your Father, the devil, and you want to carry out your Father’s will. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him In the eyes. He speaks in character, for he is a liar and, in fact, the Father of lies, of all the things Jesus could have called the devil. It’s peculiar, at first glance, that he calls him a liar and a murderer. Why would you put those two things together? Because truth gives life.

Removal of truth brings death. I think I said that on Sunday too. Truth gives life and only truth gives life, because truth is good. Good is dynamic, it supports and sustains life. Truth gives life, and removal of truth brings death. So it’s reasonable that a liar is a murderer. You belong to your Father, the devil, and you want to do his will, your Father’s will.

He was a murderer from the beginning. He is a liar and the Father of lies. So there you have the foundation of truth, which gives life, and then you have the opposite, which is lies, or the diminishment of truth, which becomes a lie, and these things bring death Death of the mind, death of the spirit, death of the soul, death of the body, one of those things or all of those things, and we’re seeing that in the world today. It’s a culture of death. It seems the world glorifies death. It seems like they even worship death, and it’s also a world that is swimming in lies, lies, and you know what’s really worse about that?

The lies look so much like the truth. I mean, it’s just vulgar how the lies look so much like the truth. Love equals love. Well, that is a lie. But how Christian does it sound though? Love equals love, love everybody. All love is the same. All love is equal. That is a lie. That is a lie. But how much does it look like the truth?

Lies and lying is in the modern culture’s DNA. It’s rooted in it, it is based on it, it expresses its being from it. Lies and lying it’s in the culture’s DNA. It’s not simply something the culture does. Let me talk about that does part. Jesus calls himself the truth, but he calls Satan a liar Someone who does Not, someone who is. He doesn’t say the devil is lie or is lies. He says the devil is a liar.

This culture is no longer, in my estimation, no longer just a culture or a collective of persons who uphold lies. They are people who live by them, not just liars, people who live by lies. It’s in their DNA, the culture’s DNA, you understand, not just doers of lies, but it’s in their DNA, it’s in the culture’s being today. Lies and falsehoods and mistruth have always been a part of human culture. I get that, but I feel it has never been in the culture’s DNA as it is today, certainly not since the fall of Rome, but even pagan Rome and pagan Greece. They lived some lies, but they did not uphold them as truths. There were some cultures, for instance, where pedophilia was like a thing but it was known to be a vice. I don’t think in some cultures it wasn’t illegal. It was frowned upon, though it was known to be a vice. That’s just an example.

So maintaining truth in a world whose DNA is lies, maintaining truth is not only integral, vital, important, forget, necessary. It’s not only all of those things, but it’s difficult. It’s difficult to maintain truth in a culture whose DNA is lies. And not only is it lies, but it’s lies that are concealed or masked to look very much like truth. We see this problem in the Catholic culture. We see it a lot in the Catholic culture. There are a lot of people on the left and on the right who adhere to something that looks so much like truth. But remember what I said in the last episode If something is only a little bit degraded from the truth, it is a lie. You don’t have something that’s almost totally true, it’s a lie. It’s a lie. Going on the guidance of St Thomas Aquinas and St Augustine, if something, if a truth, if the integrity of a truth is not maintained, it is a lie.

For example, go back to that car, take off one of the wheels. It’s a lie, right? Okay, put the wheel back on Now. Take out one spark plug. One spark plug, that’s it. It can be a $100,000 sports car. Take out one spark. Well, if it’s a gas engine, if it’s a normal engine, take out one spark plug. You’re not going anywhere, the car cannot perform its natural function. It’s a lie. And all you’ve done is you’ve taken out one spark plug. You can take off the fenders, you can take off the doors, you can take out the windows, but put the spark plug back in and you still have a car, even though it’s missing the fenders, the doors, the windows. You still have a car because you haven’t changed it substantially, only formally. The doors are not essential to its being. A spark plug is Gasoline is Wheels are.

So we see it a lot in the Catholic culture, where people have things that really look like the truth and they, in some cases, it’s damn close to the truth, meaning they adhere to or uphold things that are really really good, necessary, indispensable. But if they are degraded or changed, even in the slightest bit, to where the truth becomes diminished or is thrown out of balance, I have news for you, my friends it’s no longer a truth, even though it looks so much like one. That’s a question of balance, which I’m going to get into in my next podcast, either this week or this weekend. Follow me on X at 4, the Queen BVM, if you’re not doing so already, to keep up with that. Also, you might want to sign up for my newsletter. Go to my website, catholicadventurercom. If you’re new to the website, you’ll see a pop up there inviting you to sign up for my newsletter. Also, once you get there, even if you don’t get a pop up, there’s a form field at the top of my website, catholicadventurercom, a form field. You just put in your email address and click sign up and you’re done. The reason I encourage you to do that is because you can follow me on Twitter or on X. That doesn’t mean you’re going to see everything I post, unless you click the little bell. If you click that little bell, then everything I post you’ll get a special notification of, but short of that, you’re kind of rolling the dice. So if you really want to keep up, if you don’t want to miss a beat, you really don’t want to miss a beat. Truth is very important. No one else is talking about it, certainly not the way I do. So I really suggest follow me on X for the Queen BVM and or sign up for my newsletter, catholicadventurercom, so that you don’t miss a thing. In conclusion, welcome back to Big Russ.

In conclusion, as I said Sunday, a lie is not just I’m sorry a truth is not just a factually accurate statement. Truth is something much, much more than that. Truth gives life. Truth, and only truth gives life. It’s the life force of all reality, including the reality of who you are and what you are and who and what you’re meant to be. Only truth makes that happen. Only truth makes that happen. Anything degraded from that stifles, frustrates or ends it. That’s what I want to get through to you, and Jesus says so. Jesus demonstrates in the scriptures that truth gives life. He came, he, the truth Himself came to give us life to the fullest, and that doesn’t just mean eternal life. It does mean that. But it doesn’t only mean that, because the more aligned we are with truth, including the truth of our own being, not just generally, but personally, individually, the more real we are Folks I’m not being metaphorical here the more holy you are, slash, the more true you are, the more holy true you are, the more real you are, and the more fully you experience life as a human being in this world, the more fully you experience.

What is it like to experience God as a human being on earth. This is your only chance to discover that. Once you’re dead, it’s done. If you go to heaven, you experience God in His fullness and beatific vision. But what is it like to pursue God and to come to know Him as a flesh and blood human being on the earth, interfacing with Him not just in prayer, but through the sacraments, through the church? What is that like? This is your one chance to know what that’s like. The more holy you are, the more real, I’m sorry, the more true. The more holy slash true you are, the more real you are and you begin to experience life and the world around you, and even God, completely differently, because it’s increasingly more complete and more full.

I’m going to go back to my definition and I’ll make this my closing point. My definition of truth goes like this I said this on Sunday and I’m going to be working it hard, going forward. Truth is that which is whole, complete and exists in a state that’s in accord with its intrinsic nature or purpose. Truth is whole and complete, so anything less than that is missing. Something is incomplete.

If you think I’m jiving, you, put it into practice yourself. Put it into practice, grow and even hey, give yourself a one month limit. For one month, grow in holiness, and then you can become a pirate, you can become a drug addict, whatever you want to do, but for one month, really try to grow in holiness. On day 30, tell me how you feel. The more true or holy you are, the more whole and complete you are, the more real you are, necessarily, because truth is the life force of reality. The more real you are and the more fully you experience your life and the world around you. You think I’m jiving. Try it. I dare you. I dare you to prove me wrong. You won’t, you won’t, but I’d love for you to try, because that means on day 30 you’re gonna be holier than you are today.

So a quick recap of what’s coming. I’m gonna make this very brief. Please don’t tune me out. Those you catching me on demand and those one of you catching me live, don’t tune me out. I know we all we all hate announcements. The worst part of the mass for me is please be seated for some, for some announcements. Oh man, come on. Week after freakin week. You got to kill me with the. I hate speed bumps, but anyhow.

So new podcast in the pipeline. It’s gonna be called meditations or some form of that word. Meditations where I’ll be doing basically what I did here Meditating, reflecting on see. Here I did like several scripture passages, but in meditations I’m only gonna do one or two or something from Thomas the Kempis the imitation of Christ and we’re going to analyze it and if you want to call in or if it’s a Twitter spaces, you want to participate, I’ll invite you to participate and tell me you think of it. But I’m gonna analyze it and share with you what we see in there, not because not so that we can meditate during the podcast, but so that you can take the material back and meditate or pray or contemplate yourself meditations. I’m really excited about that and I have to watch it because every time I’m excited about something, it kind of falls on its face Meditations. Also, I’m going to be producing more content for my subscribers. I actually picked up two subscribers this week. I can’t believe it, because this week has been very hard on this apotheon. I should write an autobiography and I should devote like 12 chapters to just this past week or two. This past week or two been very hard on me personally, but in a particular way on this apostolate. So it’s kind of miraculous that I picked up two subscribers and I’m very happy that I did. I’m gonna be producing more and more content just just for subscribers.

The next podcast I’m going to do again, please sign up for my newsletter, because you will definitely get the newsletter. You may not see the tweets that I post. The next episode that I will do I’m kind of hovering in these Sundays at 2 pm Eastern Time time slot. I’m kind of aiming to do it consistently in that time slot, but I may do something, do something earlier. I definitely want to do a show. On balance. That’s gonna be next. That might be for I. Anyway, that’s gonna be the next show. Sign up for my newsletter and follow me on Twitter to find out when that’s gonna land. But I’m aiming to do. I’m aiming to do a meditations during the week, an episode of meditations during the week, a supplemental episode of the podcast during the week and then the major show, the main podcast, sundays at 2 pm Eastern Time. You understand? So, like this, what I did today is like a supplemental to what I did Sunday. You see the formula, okay. So if you’re interested, follow me on Twitter at 4theQueenBVM.

Sign up for my newsletter. It’s the form at the top of the website CatholicAdventurercom. And man, let’s grow holier together. Let’s grow holier together. Please say a prayer for me and my family. I’m still out of work, falling on hard times here. Please say a prayer for me and my family. I really appreciate it. I have been the Catholic Adventurer. Thank you for joining me. Thank you, big Russ, for sticking with me. Live there. God bless you all and I’ll be with you all. Talk to soon, bye, bye.

This is the last free After Show. Future After Show episodes will be subscriber-only, availalble on my website.

Meditation on “Truth vs. Lies”. Sort of an after-show to last Sunday’s podcast (“What is Truth?”). Also a special announcement during that show. Don’t miss this one.

Highlight Timestamps

(04:23 – 06:33) Concept of Truth in Catholic Philosophy
(10:30 – 11:31) Finding Rest Through Humility
(13:27 – 14:21) Pontius Pilate’s Political Interrogation of Jesus
(20:58 – 22:59) The Power of Truth and Lies
(25:51 – 27:11) Maintaining Truth in Deceptive Cultures
(32:18 – 33:47) Definition and Practice of Truth
(35:45 – 36:49) Podcast Schedule and Updates


What Is Truth?

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