“Speaking the truth in love” Ephesians 4:15

“Rabbinic debate” liveauctiongroup.net

[this was an email I sent to someone who recently asked me for advice on “how to win an argument”. Seemed good to post on the feast of St Dominic, the Veritas saint!]

“Truth happens in the course of dialogue. There is always a temptation to allow our answers to bring to an end the process of searching, as if the topic of the conversation was a problem that has now been solved. But when a fresh question arrives, the unexhausted depths of mystery show through once more. Let it be said over and over again: faith is not a question of problems but of mystery, so we must never abandon the path of seeking and asking.” ― Tomáš Halík

I had a philosophy professor, when I first began my graduate work, who would never affirm anything a student said but would always immediately qualify, critique or expand on each answer. I remember being so frustrated by this! In fact, I remember one time when, in my emotional exasperation, I threw caution to the wind. Right after I’d given what I was certain was the right answer, he began with his, “Well, it’s important not to…” I just blurted out, “Come on, Dr. Heisenberg, can’t you ever just say ‘good answer’ and leave it at that?” He replied, “And what would you learn, then? That you have the whole truth and that settles it all? How boring! Then the dialogue would end. No one ever has it all. We’re always on the way.” Then he taught us a medieval scholastic axiom. “In any argument,” he said, “seldom affirm or deny and always make distinctions. In other words, rarely say, ‘That settles it!’ or ‘You’re wrong!’, but discover the portion of truth in what is said and set it on a journey toward greater things. That way, you keep the relationship alive with your dialogue partner, and you reaffirm your commitment to learning more. We’re always on the way.”

I wanted to explode.

Here I could see — after I calmed my pride — for the first time the deeper meaning of another medieval scholastic axiom he taught us, Amor ipse notitia est, “love itself is a form of knowing.” The quest for knowledge, if it is done well, should cultivate love between fellow seekers. When carried out thus, arguments should augment friendship. The goal of an argument should not be, “I won!” or “You won!” but “truth has appeared,” which for lovers of truth is a cause for common rejoicing and gratitude. What each sought all along has now been found and is the possession of both. Triumph! But if truth-seeking is undertaken merely as a pursuit of private property or becomes a manipulative vying for the upper hand, making of knowledge a commodity and not a common good, then dialogue will always devolve into a competition and “victory” will always mean the defeat of love.

Whether in philosophy or theology, this approach has taught me not to view apologetics as the hunt for a silver bullet or a slam-dunk argument meant to silence my opponent. Rather, apologetics is to be a method for cultivating and sustaining in every conversation a common quest for truth’s appearing. This is, in fact, how God deals with us. When He becomes flesh to invite us into all Truth, and we responded with the counter-argument of the cross, He rose again only to re-extend the invitation in merciful love to join Him in an eternal friendship, exploring the fullness of Truth that sets us free.

There was a woman I knew in Florida, an atheist who converted to Catholicism, who shared with me what her impetus was for converting. She said, “William [a work colleague] gave me my first real exposure to intelligent Christianity. But what was most convincing about him was that he took my own arguments against his positions very seriously. And you know, when you believe someone is willing to listen to you and learn from you, when you disagree, you’re much more likely to return the favor. That’s rare. And I did.” Pope Benedict’s words make this point well:

Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity

This approach to any and all arguments, I have found, holds out the highest hope of forging out of difference philo-sophia, a love of wisdom that fosters friendship. And Truth is very interested in friendship (John 15:15). The sweetest debates I have ever had are still ongoing, with men and women who share this commitment and have allowed friendship to emerge from disagreement. When what is sought is not conquest but Christ, who is Truth, the end-game is always the victory of charity. If we follow His example, every time we get in an argument we would do well to begin washing each other’s feet as we argue, so as to maintain the focus on truth’s service to love.

Amor vincit omnia, “Love conquers all.”

27 comments on ““Speaking the truth in love” Ephesians 4:15

  1. Faye says:

    Neal, my daughter-in-law professes to be atheist. She once suggested that I read Carl Sagan or Richard Dawkins so that I can better understand her position. I’m not sure I want to do that, but your post today made me rethink that. The question is: do you recommend a book for me to read to better understand her position or would it be better to simply listen to her and take her position seriously as the woman in your example describes?

    • So much here! I am sure other readers will have thoughts. I would say that it would be good for you to take her up on her offer to exchange thoughts on it. Dawkins, of course, is a rabid atheist who is the whipping boy of many Christian apologists (in other words, they see him as fairly easy to refute), largely because of his tendency to overblow his case against God with sensationalist hyperbole or misrepresentations of theist arguments, making him (for apologists) an easy target for rebuttal. Her reference to Sagan makes me think her atheism is driven by a sense that faith and science are incompatible. What to read! There is so much out there that is excellent, of varying levels of quality and approach. While I am not always a Scott Hahn fan, he is a clear writer and I think his “Answering the New Atheism” is a helpful and succinct introduction to Dawkins specifically (from a Christian perspective, of course). I am a huge fan of David Bentley Hart’s “Atheist Delusions” (or his really dense but fascinating “Experience of God”), as well as anything by Stephen Barr on faith-science. Your daughter-in-law might find these authors compelling. Fr. Robert Spitzer’s website might be a useful share for your daughter-in-law as it has lots of intelligent resources on it regarding atheism’s objections to theism. https://www.magiscenter.org/ And Brandon Vogt’s site is rich, http://strangenotions.com/atheism/ Anthony Flew’s book is a marvelous story of a well-known atheist re-thinking atheism (“There Is a God”). There’s tons out there. But that’s a start. The best thing you can do is pray/fast for your daughter-in-law AND for the person who can help your daughter-in-law think through her objections to faith – you won’t know who that person is, but God does. It’s 99% of the time not a parent who can play that role, but the parent has from God the most powerful position for interceding for their children before God. But I advise you not to tell her that as it can seem condescending. “I’m praying for you.” And, of course, love your daughter-in-law and allow her the space to rebel, critically reflect, struggle, question. You are welcome to take her up on reading her authors, but I would advise that you read prior to that some intelligent responses to these atheists so you can avoid being overwhelmed by arguments you may have never considered. Stay in open conversation with your daughter-in-law, and challenge her to be just as open to arguments from all sides. But don’t feel you have to know all the answers and be able to respond – sometimes the best thing someone can do is point to the right people/sources that can help. Love her and communicate not fear but respect, as much as you can, and allow this to be an impetus for you to enter on a journey of “faith seeking understanding” as well! One day you may thank her for helping you grow in your faith! God is good. Thanks for writing! Let me know if I can help in any other way. Prayers!

      • Faye says:

        Dr. Neal, thank you for the details in your response. This is exactly what I needed. Blessings!

      • Jennifer says:

        Faye, if I could add anything…I am a huge science geek and I went through a hard-coded atheistic phase because I felt that science and faith didn’t mesh. I had been raised Catholic and loved church-involvement but my actual faith was weak to begin with and I really didn’t know much catechetically. Looking back though, I see the biggest hurdle was my pride in my own intellect. I thought scientific people were clever and people of faith were good-hearted, quaint, but just uneducated. Meeting some really brilliant staunch Christians who were capable of strong argument really affected me and their challenge to look deeper resulted in a profound faith-awakening/conversion moment. But really, God had to do a lot of work on my vanity and pride ( and still does) to even be willing to confidently profess my faith to other scientists.
        I guess my point is, respect her intelligence and acknowledge what you don’t know. God will indeed provide the right person to reach her! Keep praying for that! Finally, just want to add one FABULOUS resource: http://www.thomisticevolution.org

        I’m do heartened by your love for your daughter in law!

      • Jennifer says:

        Just rereading my comment and I want to add: I’m not trying to imply that your daughter in law has pride or vanity issues or that she thinks you must be unintelligent. Not that you are incapable of fruitful argument. I AM saying that was my bias and my sin and others have shared the same experience. Sorry if I projected that onto Your situation. Katy’s answer is great: what is the real issue, the actual heart of the matter. God bless you and your family!

      • Faye says:

        Jennifer, no need to apologize for your first comments to me, your words actually hit the target precisely. Thank you for sharing & please keep my daughter-in-law & me in prayer. Blessings.

      • Jennifer says:

        Thank yiu, Faye; that’s a relief. I will keep you both in my prayers. Please pray for my family and me too.
        In Christ, j

    • Katy says:

      Faye (& co) it is beautiful that you’re open to learning with and from her, and others along the way. I agree with Dr Neal’s response; such wisdom. Dr. Neal, this post is wonderful. Thanks for writing. And thanks to ALL for the comments…you’re right, this is a gift.

      I teach high school chemistry in a public school. Once there was a conversation:

      Topic: the size of atoms. Very very small: “An atom is to a speck of dust as a speck of dust is to the planet earth.”

      Student: “Whoa, hold on. How do we even know they’re real? I don’t believe this. There’s no way. How do you know that?”

      Me: “Okay, I can give you an answer if you want. It’ll probably take about 3 minutes to give you the gist. Do you want the answer, or are you just asking to ask?” (This was a grace, to have these words to respond!)

      Student: “No, don’t answer. I’m just asking to ask.”
      (We all laughed, class went on, and later I talked with the student about this exchange, and by this time, in private, he was receptive to the proof.)

      All this to say it can be interesting, before heading down the road of answering a question or understanding an objection, to simply and curiously ask, “Okay, what are you really wondering? What would you really like me to know about your position if you could just straight up ask?” (All of this spoken only with childlike honesty and curiosity.) By the grace of God, I saw through the student’s words to his real question, and identified that, at that time, he didn’t really want to know the answer.

      I often forget that I can be just as curious, just as frank, I can also ask questions, and I don’t have to have answers but rather can be a sounding board on the way to the real question.

      C.S. Lewis has a fantastic short essay called “Man or Rabbit” in which he “sees the real question” and operates with confidence and clarity, as he is wont to do, to unveil it.


  2. Joanna Brady says:

    Hello there Dr Tom thankyou so much for posting this it’s so helpful. I am pondering what living life in the spirit of God means and this lights the way. That in God ,in truth nothing is ever final or concluded , a dialogue with the Holy Spirit ,an ongoing pilgrimage to heaven ….the way not of knowing but unknowing of always searching out the more which must indeed also be love .

  3. trudymm says:

    Dr. T.j.Neal”I had a philosophy professor, when I first began my graduate work, who would never affirm anything a student said but would always immediately qualify, critique or expand on each answer. I remember being so frustrated by this! In fact, I remember one time when, in my emotional exasperation, I threw caution to the wind. Right after I’d given what I was certain was the right answer, he began with his, “Well, it’s important not to…” I just blurted out, “Come on, Dr. Heisenberg, can’t you ever just say ‘good answer’ and leave it at that?” He replied, “And what would you learn, then? That you have the whole truth and that settles it all? How boring! Then the dialogue would end. No one ever has it all. We’re always on the way.” Then he taught us a medieval scholastic axiom. “In any argument,” he said, “seldom affirm or deny and always make distinctions. In other words, rarely say, ‘That settles it!’ or ‘You’re wrong!’, but discover the portion of truth in what is said and set it on a journey toward greater things. That way, you keep the relationship alive with your dialogue partner, and you reaffirm your commitment to learning more. We’re always on the way.”

    A five star post, thanks so much Dr.TJN. A spiritual explosion, and here are the results from the dust settling. It is serving as a triple threat to the kingdom of darkness for me. First and foremost it is helping me recall the axiom the Lord taught me some years ago in regards to myself: Don’t vindicate, don’t validate! Guess maintaining a poor GPA because of my poor performance in this area, but trying to heed His words and probably not getting worse, thank you Jesus. There is probably a reason for resurfacing. Something may be up, but to hear the still small voice is be forewarned, leading one to be forearmed. Battle gear on, Praise the Lord, since God is speaking all the time, it’s to be about trying to be tuned in to every personal message, every hour on the hour. How else can we be about perfecting God’s will in our lives without living the practice of His presence?

    Next your excellent post will be like caviar for The GIG Apostolate. Lastly it is ushering me into the poetic prayer world, savoring something the Holy Spirit blest me with a couple of weeks ago. Thoughts ran to making an “A”, and living life in truth, by way of a profound friendship with God in Fathership, Jesus Christ in Sonship, and in Powership with the Holy Spirit.

    ~The Living God’s Fathership, Sonship, & Powership As An Experience~ ~A Breathtaking Route To Spiritual Renaissance~

    👤One and all, the invitation is extended to throne room
    👤There we are equipped to handle whatever on the horizon may loom

    👤It could be a serious encounter with doom
    👤Or just a slight touch of gloom

    👤But if we are granted another day after a night of slumber, sleep & rest
    👤Be assured that the morning is the start of a new test

    👤So the way to begin the day’s journey best
    👤Is to be the the Most High’s earliest guest

    👤It’s a tried and true fact
    👤We need every God given grace to be operable and intact

    👤Only God can adequately necessitate what should fill our spiritual backpack
    👤Leaving it all up to Him what we are to carry on the straight & narrow, we’ll have no excess baggage or find a lack

    👤The desired goal is to make an A
    👤To be awarded at the end on the last day

    👤For that the Blessed Holy Mother helps us greatly to find a way
    👤If we want, into the arms of her Divine Son, each one of us she can gently lay

    👤Immediately upon awakening
    👤Running at record breaking speed, not crawling

    👤Discovered even too slow is walking
    👤Let’s go to experience the Fathership of our God, that’s first where we all should be heading

    👤Next it’s meeting Jesus in His Lordship
    👤From there it’s a demonstration of the Holy Spirit’s much needed Powership

    👤Life is lived completely in the Most Holy Trinity
    👤Unending bliss to continue for all eternity

    👤The Father, the Father, my Father, your Father, God our loving Father
    👤The one who wishes to gather us together like chicks under the wings of their mother

    👤Regarding each & ever single son or daughter
    👤Let us come unto Him, doubting not that we are never, never, a bother

    👤As decision making thoughts are racing at a fast pace
    👤Regarding the will of God we don’t want to skip over or miss even one base
    👤It’s with Father, Son, & Holy Spirit that we are to run life’s race
    👤That’s the only way what’s coming from every angle we can squarely face

    👤What a marvel to be so supremely blest
    👤Divine assistance at our beck and call every step of the way of our spiritual quest

    👤God before, beneath above & behind
    👤A hiding place in His Sacred Heart we easily find

    👤The Lordship of Jesus is the fast track to fulfilling God’s will effectively
    👤Did He not say: “I am the Way” quite emphatically
    👤With Him the truth evades us not, falsehoods are trampled down swiftly
    👤 In Him and with Him, life is lived in love, most gracious and efficiently

    👤 The Powership of the Holy Spirit makes all things possible
    👤What the Father wants, when & how, as it is to be done in Jesus, only one way to be made capable
    👤Solid in virtue, it’s the gifts and fruit of the Spirit that renders us competent and able
    👤 Allowing us to remain rooted in Christ, steadfast and stable

    👤A daily must is to return to heaven’s throne room to experience God’s Fathership,
    👤Completed by Jesus’ Lordship, & the Holy Spirit’s Powership, as the Trinity is one, joined at the hip

    👤Rebuffing any other proposal
    👤Will result in a perpetually spiritual renaissance all of our days, readily available day or night at our disposal

    ✝Whether we come by it early or come by it late
    All that matters is that we remain steadfast, persevere & keep the faith
    Jesus, Author & Finisher of our faith gives us this wonderful gift, so precious a gem
    Let’s hold tight 2 faith, knowing without it, we’ll never ever please Him
    / \ http://gigapostolate.weebly.com tmm/PTL

    • Jennifer says:

      Trudymm, I am always so amazed and delighted by your gift of weaving such tapestries of language, what a rich overflow of verse! God bless you and keep you!

      • tmm says:

        My dear Jennifer, so glad you are the interlocking piece of the puzzle to complete the joy from this creation. Thanks so much, accepting the compliment in the name of the Holy Spirit, it means He was at work. So glad to find a kindred spirit who enjoys the aroma. Blessing for your spiritual growth to surpass what you can ask or imagine.

    • So tmm, I prayed your words yesterday to great effect. Thank you. Your poetry, your joy, your honesty, your insights are filled with such love and openness to God’s delight. That’s how I receive it! And, anyone else reading this, I had the blessing of meeting tmm recently, and when you meet her you immediately ‘get’ where all of this comes from. She’s a redounding catechist wrapped in the spirit of Elijah! Swept up in the whirlwind with an intensity of love for the Lord. At least that’s how I see you, tmm. Thank you for sharing your gifts here. Peace!

      • tmm says:

        It was a pleasure meeting you. Your presentation on the “leash” with notes, and “unleashed” without, was like a spectacular spiritual fireworks show for the soul. Spiritually speaking, oh yes, you are in Christ: “all that”. Through Our Blessed Lady’s request to Jesus, may God douse you more and more with the oil of the Holy Spirit. May the fire rage and burn intensely, so that the gold which you are become so refined, that the image visible is a carbon copy of the Master in action. In the power and might of the Holy Spirit, may you continue to bring the highest glory to God, and do much good for His church, the body of Christ. Thank you Dr. TJN for your service to all. Saying to God: You heard TJN’s compliments, hope you can hit me with the seal of Your approval and even kick things up a notch, always letting me operate in your will, as you so will.
        👌🏼If that’s not the case
        👌🏼Then please help me to respond as You pour out more grace.

        ✝Whether we come by it early or come by it late
        All that matters is that we remain steadfast, persevere & keep the faith
        Jesus, Author & Finisher of our faith gives us this wonderful gift, so precious a gem
        Let’s hold tight 2 faith, knowing without it, we’ll never ever please Him
        / \ http://gigapostolate.weebly.com tmm/PTL

  4. Anne says:

    What a great post and how refreshing (and therapeutic) to imagine that when I “question” God and argue my case to Him, instead of pounding His fist on the table and telling me that He is right and I am wrong (which is undoubtedly true!) perhaps, He is willing to listen to my side and possibly even validate some of what I argue while revealing to me His case and awakening in me an understanding. I don’t mind being shown where I am wrong in my thinking — in fact I often find it liberating! — but what I find is in order for me to truly understand why I am wrong, I need to be able to comprehend why the other person is right! I love the idea of healthy arguing and constructive disagreements. To imagine engaging in this sort of dialogue with Christ is intriguing to me and allows me to view Him more like a friend and less like a dictator. Thank you for opening my eyes to this possibility! Seek and you shall find. Here’s hoping that we all find the truth which we so desperately need! P.S. This blog must be the only one in which the commenters often produce as much fruit as the blogger themself! What a wonderful little community of followers you have attained. I am grateful to be the recipient of such wisdom 🙂

    • I am also the grateful recipient! All of you are just outrageously serious seekers — it just astounds me. I told my wife the other day — I think my blog’s greatest service (and gift to me) is facilitating these exchanges. I receive copiously. Thanks Anne and all for investing your quests here, your Confessions (referring to Augustine’s confessional autobiography).

  5. Anne says:

    One more thing …. the line, “Truth is very interested in friendship” is beautiful. I am finding within me a great desire to know Truth. Accompanying this desire is an even stronger desire to be “friends with Jesus”. I realize that sounds trite and trivial but it is exactly what I want! I want Jesus to be my friend and I want to be His. I have fallen into a trap of thinking he barely tolerates me because of my sinfulness and disobedience instead of loving me and desiring me regardless of my weaknesses. . This line has connected my search for truth with my desire for friendship with God and makes me wonder if one aspect (truth) leads to the other (friendship). I will take this thought to prayer …

  6. Jennifer says:

    Anne: so much so yes! Truth IS very interested in friendship, and your comment only is trite as far as true friendship is trite which, thanks be to God, it most certainly is not!
    As God is love and the Truth can only be fully revealed, entered into, understood, in love and what is friendship but two people willing to love one another? I have learned more about God, life, truth, everything through the love of dear friends than from a thousand other sources. Love, often in the vehicle of friendship is what transforms our knowledge of the truth in our brains down into the beating flesh of our hearts, from which we can bring it to life.

    I love your comments and your desire for corrective disagreement. God bless you!!

    • Anne says:

      Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your wisdom, Jennifer! You commented that “Love, via friendship, translates knowledge of truth into our hearts” (paraphrase). I am curious, does that mean we should obey the truths of the church with our will and hope that as we grow in friendship with Christ, this obedience will mature from one of blind submission to one of understanding and eventually a desire to obey out of love rather than duty? I am reminded that Jesus’s first miracle relied upon the blind obedience by waiters at the wedding at Cana as they filled jugs with water (which may have made very little sense to them as there was not a shortage of water but wine). It was only after, and contingent on!, this act of blind obedience that Jesus performed His first miracle and His power and glory was first revealed. My current struggle is, does God desire us to obey without necessarily understanding or does He wants us to obey out of a love and understanding of what it is we are obeying? Am I right in comprehending your comment as to mean that as friendship with Christ matures, an understanding of all that He teaches follows but in the meantime we should accept His truths on faith alone regardless if our hearts are less involved than our heads? Is that what being in friendship with Him looks like? Going back to the original post, does that mean God welcomes my “counter arguments” to what He asks of me? Clear as mud? Curious as to your thoughts…

      • Jennifer says:

        Hi Anne! Crystal clear! Ok, I just lost my original comment and I have to get to bed, so I’ll be brief…hopeful that Tom will weigh in if I am totally off-base!

        1) yes. We often need to obey first and understand later. But, we have to remember that God’s will for us, his commandments, his precepts are all perfectly for our good. I think these days we are generally so cynical of authority and it’s not natural for us to “blindly” trust; but we can trust God like that! It’s liberating to trust Him even if we don’t understand…like dumb sheep :).
        2) just like with kids, there are so many things that have to be obeyed whether or not the kids get it…we hope that as they mature they will grow in understanding and come to see why our rules were what they were…how much more so the Father
        3) grace builds on nature: we behave with good manners when we are in the company of strangers, not because we know and love them, but because by doing so we establish a climate of comfort for the other where relationship can flourish. We are courteous and kind to our neighbour until one day we realize a friendship has indeed blossomed and those kind words spring from amicable affection not mere courtesy.

        So yes, always try to obey God! You are free to ask why, but you obey anyway. As you walk in obedience you will grow in understanding of His heart and your motivation to obey will be transformed to obedience out of love. The distinction between duty and love blurs as we become more automatic in obedience because with every yes we grow in the delicious knowledge that all He asks of us is always for our ultimate good. Every cross is made sweet as we come to trust intrinsically that his will is his love, our yes is our invitation to be part of his love, his life.

        Now I’m the one as clear as mud.

        I hope this helps.

        My love and friendship comment specifically refers to the fact that being loved by dear Christian friends, as though Jesus himself was loving on me, completely transformed my understanding of God’s love. We get to know God through his Church, through the flesh and blood people with whom we can gather in his name and invite him into our midst.

        I’m so enjoying talking with you!

        In Christ,

      • tmm says:

        My 2cents in regards to obedience: Like “Nike”, Just Do It!!!

      • Katy says:

        You question is exactly one that Dietrich Bonhoeffer addresses in his book “The Cost of Discipleship”. He discusses the interplay between faith and obedience (which one comes first?). I’d recommend the book, at least that section!

        CS Lewis has an excellent quote as well, along the same spirit as Bonhoeffer’s text: “Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you already did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”

        This quote (and Bonhoeffer’s treatment) gets at something that I try to secretly avoid when I want faith before obedience. It’s the fact that…well…this is hard! It’s hard to love my neighbor; does that mean I don’t really love him? No. It means I’m human. It means I’m learning. It means I should have patience with myself and say to Jesus, “Jesus, I can’t do this. Do it for me!” “Jesus, I am afraid I don’t understand if I believe this; be with me and tutor me in your ways of love.”

        Finally, I think it’s beautiful how really, nothing I/we do is purely blind faith. Even Jesus asking those waiters to turn the water to wine, he was responding to a secret desire in their hearts for “being surprised” and “wanting more” even if they themselves did not realize it. Everything Jesus does resonates with us in some way; we are baptized, we can’t help it. Sometimes Jesus’ actions echo beautifully in my heart, sometimes they encounter friction along the way, but they still resonate, which means I’m not blind, but simply learning.

      • Your comments and response to Anne here are just so rich, Katy. Thank you for sharing what you have.

    • Amen to that! Again, amazed at the encouragement and insight that this forum is allowing for. Grateful amazement!

  7. Jennifer says:

    Trudymm: you could have saved me hundreds of words 🙂
    Katy: that is an important truth: it IS hard! I for one am quick to spend hours lazing about thinking about
    the whys of obedience (procrastinating under the guise of theologizing)but so hesitant to jump in, and like trudymm says “just do it!”

    • Anne says:

      Wow! What a treasure trove of wisdom in these comments! A very sincere “thank you” to each of you! Interestingly enough, I came across a quote from St, Theresa Benedicta (Edith Stein) whose feast day is today. I thought her words were especially relevant to this post and subsequent comments … “Do not accept anything as truth that lacks love and do not accept anything as love that lacks truth”. May we all find truth that is consumed in love and may we all love thereby becoming vessels of truth …

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