Tonight we read Step number 12 on Lying. Surprisingly this has always been a challenging step to read and to read as a group. Immediately our minds begin to swirl with the costs of loving the Truth and understanding that Truth is a person. Our starting point in such discussions is often examples that are extreme; things or circumstances that people might face within this life where lying might be justified. St. John addresses this and much more within the step. However, one has to be willing to suspend judgment and allow St. John to guide us along a path that deepens our sensitivity in regards to the Truth as a whole. Our starting point must be Christ. We must begin to understand that lying is a sin against charity, and to lie when making a vow or an oath is a denial of God himself. St. John understands very well that the Evil One can use something as innocent and enjoyable as humor to justify and to legitimize lying. Yet, John tells us that there are no small lies and once spoken they have an effect upon ourselves and others. They diminish the spirit of mourning; that is, compunction within the human heart. In doing so they distract us from the remembrance of God and the things of God. We must remember that God has given us a conscience, a means of knowing the truth with Him. This is what we must form through the gospel and through our participation in the life of Christ. We must also remember that the Evil One is the Father of Lies and will use a lie under the pretext of protecting others. In the face of this, St. John tells us, “when we are completely cleansed of lying, then we can resort to it, but only with fear and as occasion demands.” Only when the heart has been completely purified, where there is no love of falsehood and where there is the presence of great discernment, can such a decision be made. To love truth, St. John tells us, is the root of every good because it is to love Christ.
Text of chat during the group:
00:25:04 Anthony Rago: I've also been thinking that our bodies and societies are parables of truth; and we can be lying by engaging in bad lifestyles.
00:37:35 Anthony Rago: I can imagine a confessor becoming very exasperated if we treat all this as confessable sins; and it would be very wearing on all of us.
00:39:28 David Swiderski: Like many other things isn't discernment take a place here. Is this so people will think I am funny (pride), will this hurt someone, will it erode trust (the cost of lies) or lead to a habit?
00:39:39 Anthony Rago: That makes sense, thanks
00:40:57 Cindy Moran: Corrie ten Boom lied to the Nazis when they asked if jews were in the house. This is ok?
00:44:09 Ren Witter: I feel like this is a really hard one. Intellectually, I actually feel like it is easy to understand. Emotionally, it kind of feels like one of those instances where being Christian can feel like a “kill-joy” to put it in a light way. Maybe the immense anxiety I feel in response to this is coming from the fear that being a Christian means no joy or every-day happiness. Its weird because I know that that isn’t true, but sometimes it can be hard to reconcile the lived experience of Christianity with the things the Fathers write.
00:46:34 Debra: Replying to "Corrie ten Boom lie..."
I've read a priest's response to this, is Yes, it's ok; because the Nazis didn't have a right to what's going on in their home
That we have dignity, and a right to privacy
I'm interested to hear what Fr Abernethy says 😄
00:55:06 Anthony Rago: With humor - movies, comedy routines, Facebook - it is easy to go along, and then the story teller sneaks in covert of blatant evil things, and "bam," there they are in the head, coming to mind in an ambush when they are most unwelcome.
01:04:10 Daniel Allen: Ok so this may be making a little more sense to me. If the concern is with Truth, and Truth is a person, then we can have a tendency to come between Truth and another person (between the other and his remembrance of Truth Himself), which sort of reminds me of two parts of the Gospel - better to have a millstone tied around your neck and cast into the sea than to cause the fall of one of these little ones, and also, what God has joined let no man divide. Neither are traditionally applied to this type of thought, but if by our jesting, and always (or often) making light of things we can get between a person and his remembrance of God (or mourning), then in a way we are doing just that on a spiritual level, dividing the person from his remembrance of God. We can (generally unintentionally) get between God and another person, and generally to pump up our own ego. The lying part makes sense, it’s the joking that’s hard to get.
01:11:37 Jacqulyn: Proverbs 26:18-19 - Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, "I was only joking."
01:15:40 Debra: Cindy Moran, up above, asked about that very point
01:20:23 David Swiderski: The trap of whataboutism deflects from a general truth
01:23:09 Bonnie Lewis: So I will only be finally cleansed in Purgatory?
01:23:49 Debra: In vino veritas
01:24:08 Anthony Rago: Greek Text of this chapter is here: https://el.wikisource.org/wiki/%CE%9A%CE%BB%CE%AF%CE%BC%CE%B1%CE%BE/%CE%9B%CF%8C%CE%B3%CE%BF%CF%82_%CE%99%CE%92
I can barely read Greek and can't now locate the word "torture."
01:25:16 Ambrose Little, OP: About being jovial, I have a fondness for this part of St. Thomas Aquinas’ prayer “for ordering a life wisely” (notably the last three lines):
O Lord my God, make me
submissive without protest,
poor without discouragement,
chaste without regret,
patient without complaint,
humble without posturing,
cheerful without frivolity,
mature without gloom,
and quick-witted without flippancy.
Being dour and scolding is not good, neither is flippancy and frivolity. Cheerfulness is a good thing within measure.
01:25:32 Anthony Rago: "agoneia"
01:25:49 Debra: Reacted to "About being jovial, ..." with ❤️
01:25:50 Daniel Allen: I think one thing I take from this is that I often don’t consider the significance of my own words, and that words have greater significance than generally thought
01:26:08 carol nypaver: Reacted to "About being jovial, ..." with ❤️
01:26:09 Ashley Kaschl: Reacted to "About being jovial, …" with 🔥
01:26:25 Cath Lamb: Reacted to "I think one thing I ..." with ❤️
01:27:19 Anthony Rago: Reacted to "About being jovial..." with ❤️
01:27:21 Cath Lamb: Thank you!
01:27:27 Cindy Moran: Excellent session...thank you Father
01:27:30 Rebecca Thérèse: Thank you🙂
01:27:42 Art: Thank you!
01:27:55 Jeff O.: Thank you! Good to be with you all.
01:27:59 Bonnie Lewis: Prayers of course!
01:29:15 Bonnie Lewis: that's right because I received an email.
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