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June 19, 2021
Though one may not recognize the Latin title, I believe that many are familiar with its translation: “Let the buyer beware”. Most states have laws putting some demands upon merchants to provide a product capable of satisfying the definition of “merchantability”. For example, consumer Z sees an ad for a graphing scientific calculator in a catalogue for $19.99. They make an online purchase and four days later receive a photograph of the calculator. The photograph would not meet the criteria of “merchantability”. The example used here is quite ridiculous, but in our time of “instant information” via the internet and social media, there are theories flying through cyberspace with as much credibility as a photograph performing exotic calculations, being promoted as some “truth”. It appears that there are many people have no greater filter for discerning the truth versus fiction, than what they want to believe. Our world, in its seeming obsession for “relativism” has reduced the concept of “truth” to a matter of perception.
Contrary to the idea of “faith” truth is an absolute! Faith is a measure of conviction about a “truth” that motivates a behavior or attitude. Beliefs define a level of acceptance of a proposed truth that requires no action. Neither belief nor faith are dependent upon the objective reality of truth. For millennia, people thought the earth was the center of the universe; that the sun and moon revolved around the earth. The “truth” did not change in the 16th century when Nicolaus Copernicus proved that the earth was part of a solar system with the sun as the center and the earth, with other planets, orbiting around the sun. The reality always was, and is universal regardless of belief or faith. Reality does not change.
I believe in God. I cannot prove the absolute reality of God I can only demonstrate a logical path I followed to defend my belief. I believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Again, I cannot prove the truth of this belief, but only the logical process for this belief. I believe in the authority of the Catholic Church, her teachings and the efficacy of the sacraments. These beliefs I hold strongly enough that they impact my behaviors and attitudes. These beliefs direct how I try to live out my daily life. These beliefs underscore my faith. Yet, however strongly held, these beliefs do not define the ultimate realities of God’s existence, the resurrection of Jesus, or the teachings of the Church. Truth is to be discovered, not created. Truth does not depend upon what we want or do not want, but truth only is.