What Is Truth?

A lot of people, I think, complicate their lives during Lent, adding spiritual practices or resolutions for good works – sometimes prayer, almsgiving, and fasting; many times self-improvement projects like getting fit or losing weight. I’m thinking more of simplifying, making more room in my life. Much of this will be private, personal stuff that I won’t share.

But at my age, 72½ – and on the cusp of retirement, 130 days – I’m also going to use this Lent as a search for truth. What is truth? It may sound strange that at the beginning of Lent I would echo Pilate’s question that we will hear on Good Friday in the Passion according to John (18:38). Was Pilate’s question cynical or sincere, practical and dismissive or philosophical and probing? We have no way of knowing.

I’d like to see where the question leads over the next six weeks until we hear it speak to our hearts in the Liturgy of that day.  I’m not planning to do any special reading, but will undoubtedly be more attentive to my choice of what I read, and will definitely have that question in the back of my mind. What is truth?

One of the things that’s motivating me is that I think truth is being misused both by relativists and by absolutists. I’m sure I’ll be commenting more about that.

What do I hope to gain by Good Friday? I don’t think the question, “What is truth?” has a pat answer per se, but I think it can lead to insight. Let’s see where it leads.

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