The Shepherd, November 2006

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FROM THE FATHERS

“THE UNIVERSAL EXPERIENCE of mankind has learned that falsehood and truth are incompatible, and cannot be reconciled or made coherent; that by their very nature they are among those opposites which are eternally repugnant, and can never combine or agree.”

St Hilary of Poitiers, + 367 A.D.

“IN INVESTIGATING the truth, we must observe that which is seemly. We ought to look for what is true with the greatest care. We must not put forward falsehood for truth, nor hide the truth in darkness, nor fill the mind with idle, involved or doubtful matters.”

St Ambrose of Milan, + 397 A.D.

“TRUTH ITSELF proves that they are not worthy of glory who, bringing forth words of wisdom from their mouth, bear bitter zeal and eagerness for unfruitful strife in their heart.”

Venerable Bede of Jarrow, + 735 A.D.

“TRUTH without humilility is blind. That is why it becomes contentious: it tries to support itself on something, and finds nothing except rancour.”

Venerable Elias the Presbyter, eleventh / twelfth century

“PEOPLE live in Christ, ‘speaking the truth in love,’ because only in this way ‘we must grow up in every way into Him Who is the Head, into Christ’ (Eph. 4:15). This is always realised ‘with all the saints’ (Eph. 3;18), always in the Church and through the Church, because a person cannot grow in Him ‘Who is the Head’ of the body of the Church, in others in Christ, in any other way. Let us not fool ourselves. There is also ‘the dialogue of falsehood,’ when those who discourse together consciously or unconsciously lie to one another. This kind of dialogue is customary when the ‘father of lies,’ the devil, presides, ‘for he is a lair, and the father of lies’ (John 8:44). It is also usual for his unconscious and conscious co-workers to reach their ‘truth’ with the help of falsehoods when they want to accomplish their good through evil. There can be no ‘dialogue of love’ without the dialogue of truth.”

Venerable Justin of Chelije, +1979 A.D.

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