Monday, July 11, 2011

The Foundation of Truth

Early in his theological and priestly formation Joseph Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) faced and processed the issue of truth. He states it so clearly and succinctly here:

In the course of my intellectual life, I have experienced very acutely the problem of whether it is not actually presumptuous to say that we can know the truth– in view of all our limitations. I also wondered to what extent it might not be better to suppress this category. In pursuing this question, however, I was able to observe and also to grasp that the renunciation of truth solves nothing, but leads, on the contrary, to the tyranny of arbitrariness. All that can then remain is actually merely what we have decided and can exchange for something else. Man is degraded if he cannot know truth, if everything, in the final analysis, is just the product of an individual or collective decision.

This comes from Peter Seewald's Benedict XVI: An Intimate Portrait (Ignatius Press), p189. The whole book is worthy of one's time. What a gift our Lord has given the Church in the person of this current Vicar of Christ.

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