Sunday, July 19, 2015

Catholic Hermit Shares Wise Advice from Dionysius

Such sound and wise advice of Pseudo-Dionysius from two of his letters:

"This is what you will do if you trust me.  You will cease from the denunciation of others and you will speak about truth in such a manner that everything you say will be irrefutable."


"In my view, good men are satisfied to know and to proclaim as well as they can the truth itself as it really is.  As soon as anything has been manifested for what it assuredly is by the norm of truth and has been spotlessly established, anything else, anything even with the semblance of truth, will be refuted as alien to and unlike reality, as specious rather than authentic.  

"It is therefore superfluous for someone expounding the truth to enter into dispute with this one or that one, for each says that his own bit of money is the real thing when in face what he has may be a counterfeit copy of some part of the truth.  And if you refute this one, then another one and, again, someone else will eagerly argue about it.

"Once an argument has been properly established because of its own truth, once it stands firm and unrefuted against the counter-arguments of all others, then everything which is not completely in harmony with this will automatically be overthrown by the direct unshakable presence of truth.  

"This, I believe, is a sound principle and therefore I have never wished to embark on controversies with Greeks or with any others.  It is enough for me first to know about the truth and then to speak appropriately of what I know.  And may God grant me this."


In our times, the denunciation of others has become rampant with the assistance of social media and the relative obscurity people begin to believe we have, hovering behind our technology screens.  Then it is but a short side-step to denouncing others in the few verbal conversations, whereas much of our communication (and temptation to denounce others) is done through texting, email, and online posting, and chat.

Dionysius makes an invaluable point (that we ought take to heart and put into action) to speak about truth as established truth.  Truth, then, is always truth and stands against those who try to argue against what always going to remain truth, no matter who argues or what is the content of their contentions.

Thus, it is pointless to involve ourselves in controversies of which others become entangled.  Seek the truth, know about it, and then speak appropriately, meaningfully, of what we know is truth.  And pray that God gives us the ability to know truth and speak it.

Of course, there will always be those who still desire argumentation, debate, denunciation, and it can become personal and tinged with anger.  Especially when argumentation takes a personal and negative tone, this is a sure sign that the person's argument is flawed.  Truth stands unmoved, unchanged, when challenged by what is not fully truth.

Dionysius mentions a man who reviles him and calls him a "parricide" [murderer of one's kinsmen].  The man angered accused Dionysius of unholy use of aspects in Greek culture and belief in order to attack those beliefs.  Rather, Dionysius considered the truth of God and divine reverence, and that the Greeks were making unholy use of godly things to attack God and the wisdom of God.

We can surely find examples in our own lives, cultures, societies to help us see the futility in arguing against what is truth which is well established and documented, and ultimately is manifested by and in God Himself: Truth.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Little children, let us love one another, for God Is Love.  

No comments: