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Truth and Deception

“When God created the heavens and the earth, and all the things that are in them, He gave them being, existence, goodness, and truth. There was not a single false thing that was created – only true. Indeed the Fathers write about three things that are somewhat interchangeable: Goodness, Beauty, Truth. This sense of the connection between the words we speak and the goodness, beauty and truth of the world find a connection in the simple injunction: “Do not lie.” We generally think of lying as being sinful because it has the potential to cause harm. And we thus describe certain lies as “harmless.” But there is a deeper problem with lying: it attempts to create what does not exist, or, rather, to uncreate what does. It becomes the enemy of Goodness, Beauty and Truth. We should take to heart the fact that our adversary is named the “father of lies” (Jn. 8:44).” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“What is “unreality”? I would say that unreality is the sum of the evil constructs of our imagination about life, our worries about the future, our interior homemade virtual reality. We are all good at creating unreality. We connect dots in a way that suits our fancy. We can live in our isolated bubble, our mind’s igloo, and falsely conclude that we have everything right.” (Albert S. Rossi, PhD)

“Just as the most dangerous lies of the devil are those which are hidden among half-truths, so too the most terrible horrors of sin are those which are hidden under a veneer of beauty. This is precisely what St. Augustine warns us about — from his own bitter experience — in his incomparable work The Confessions: “For whithersoever the soul of man turns itself, unless toward Thee, it is riveted upon sorrows, yea though it is riveted on things beautiful.” Yet this warning of the saint also reveals to us the way of escape: we must turn our souls not simply toward that which is beautiful, but toward the beauty which it is only possible to behold in the Lord God Himself. In short, we must become ascetics…the truth is that asceticism is infinitely far from being some dour exercise of medieval self-flagellation. We do not undertake ascetic labors in order to deprive ourselves of good things, or to somehow punish ourselves for the sake of God. No, we undertake ascetic labors in order to teach ourselves to no longer be satisfied with what is merely earthly and fleeting, to reorient our hearts toward eternity, to seek above all other things the incomparable beauty of the Kingdom of God. We become ascetics not in order to close off our hearts, but rather to open them.” (Hieromonk Gabriel)

“ a world that is full of lies, we must rejoice in whatever truth our neighbor has and reaffirm it…Everything true in this age is in some sense partial —including our own knowledge of God and our prophecy (see 1 Cor. 13:9). But this dilution and partiality do not negate its value. Even half-truths are useful, if you know which half to take and which half to reject…one must be wary of half-truths, for one usually gets the wrong half.” (Fr. Lawrence Farley)

“Modern thought, the zeitgeist, tends to depersonalize and conceptualize religion and faith. This is the polar opposite of Christianity and Christian thought. Our faith is deeply personal. God came to us as a person in Christ. Truth is a person. Wisdom is a person. God is personified in love. To even believe and accept these written words as true requires a personal union God through Christ and by the Holy Spirit.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“Deception is a major phenomenon of our own times. There have always been deceivers. But deception has become a far more integral part of modern life.” (Father Patrick Reardon)

“Man thinks he can solve his problems without the help of God. The results are misunderstanding, deception and dangerous deviation in our social order and structure.” (The Rt. Reverend Archimandrite Ilyas T. Kurban)

“A friend gave me a striking comparison the other day. Do you know how the police and investigators learn how to spot counterfeit bills? They meticulously study every aspect of genuine currency. They take the measure of every real bill – they immerse themselves in the truth, so that it becomes second nature. This means that when they’re confronted with a fake, they can immediately spot all the ways in which it is faulty. This is why it is so important to immerse yourself in the Truth. Otherwise, you’re easy prey for deception.” (Douglas Cramer)

“Truth is not a thought, not a word, not a relationship between things, not a law. Truth is a Person. It is a Being which exceeds all beings and gives life to all. If you seek truth with love and for the sake of love, she will reveal the light of His face to you in as much as you are able to bear it without being burned.” (St. Nikolai of Serbia)

“Our life should be a pursuit of the “truth” of Christ.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

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