That which corresponds to reality; that which plugs us into the objective sphere in which we all participate is called truth.
Whether it be the mathematical equations that govern the universe; the philosophical syllogism that is valid before all; or a historical truth such as the notion that something actually happened regardless of my ability to verify it beyond all doubt; oh and let’s not forget the truth that can exist regarding one’s inner state, I am in love with Kyla, and that is a fact; no matter the kind of truth there continues to exist those among us who see it clearly, and those who don’t.
Part of our trouble of course is that truth has more masks in front of it than the ancient actor, weighed down though he was with the many irregular, exaggerated and often grotesque displays dancing in front of his face.
For every emergence of honesty, there is a myriad of intentional distortions; For every proclamation of the Gospel; there is a continual unveiling of the anti-Gospel; And unfortunately, for every open mind, there is always something to fill it, whether it brings wholeness or ruin.
And when it comes to evangelization there is a further difficulty.
For though there are many counterfeits out there, even when the truth is spoken it may not be in the right way, and to the right audience.
Truth must be spoken in love; that is easy enough to grasp, but what many of us struggle with is discerning whom we should spend the time sharing the truth with.
Because let’s face it; there are those who ask us questions about the Faith; there are those who frown at the unscientific approach of it all, and there are those that verbalize quite openly how they would just believe if there existed someone intelligent enough to make sense out of what appears to them to be nonsense.
Is their language truth? Is that how God still intends to reach their souls?
Well, will a quotation from Thomas Aquinas shatter their ignorance and elevate their souls? Will a good read of Karol Wojtyla’s Love and Responsibility, steer them back onto the correct and moral path? Will the Bible, if read by them for the length of a year, persuade them that our God is not some tyrant to be overthrown but a lover who desires the hearts of His people?
And I say that because people who really speak the language of truth; those who can still be reached through argument, more often than not are those who love to wrestle with concepts and ideas.
Long before they speak to you, they will typically have rolled things over in the minds several times.Long before they speak to you, they will have tried to see the greatest weakness in a line of thought, and yes, even its strengths.They will have a noticeable hunger for the real, and they will actually give you the time and space to share it with them.
In many ways then, we might compare truth to a lemonade stand on a hot day. It must be visible, accessible, and offered to those who are noticeably thirsty. But if you assume that all want the lemonade; if you force your cups on them urging them to drink, truth has now become a weapon, winning arguments yes, but losing souls at the same time.
So if it seems to you that the many questions are really more accusations than anything else; let it go, and get to work trying to find out what their evangelization language actually is.
But if their language really is truth, here are some things you can do: ask questions of your own, steer that person in the direction of those who study the Faith most seriously and present it most charitably, and when you are ready, learn yourself how to express the Faith so as to attract as many honest seekers as you can to your lemonade stand.
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