You were praying before a crucifix, and you made this resolution: it is better to suffer for the truth, than for truth to suffer because of me.

So often it seems impossible for the truth to be true! Above all because it always has to be lived consistently.

If you are annoyed at being told the truth, then… why do you ask?

—Is it perhaps that you want to be answered with your own “truth” so your errant ways can be justified?

You say that you have a great respect for the truth… Is that why you always place yourself at such a “respectful” distance from it?

Don’t behave like a fool. No one is ever a fanatic for wanting to know better every day, and love more, and defend with greater conviction the truth he has to know, love and defend.

On the other hand — I say this without fear — those who oppose this reasonable behaviour in the name of a false liberty become sectarian.

It is as easy now as it was at the time of Jesus Christ to say No, to deny or to put to one side the truth of faith. You who call yourself a Catholic have to start from Yes.

Later, after some study, you will be able to explain the reasons for your certainty, and that there is no contradiction — there can be none — between Truth and science, between Truth and life.

Please don’t abandon the task, don’t deviate from the way, even though you have to live with people who are full of prejudices: as if you thought the basis of arguments or the meaning of words were fixed by their behaviour or by their assertions.

—Do try to get them to understand you… but if you don’t manage it, carry on anyway.

You will find people who, because of their dull stubbornness, will be very difficult to convince… But, apart from those cases, it is worthwhile clearing up discrepancies, and clearing them up with all the patience that might be needed.

Some people don’t hear — don’t want to hear — anything other than the words they have in their own heads.

The understanding that so many people demand of others is that everyone should join their party.

I cannot believe in your truthfulness if you feel no uneasiness — a disagreeable uneasiness! — when you countenance the smallest and most harmless lie. It is far from being small or harmless for it is an offence against God.

Why do you look about you and listen and read and talk with such a mean intention, and why do you try to gather up the “bad things” to be found, not in the intention of others, but only in your own soul?

For the reader who lacks an upright intention the honesty of the writer is hard to find.

The sectarian sees only sectarianism in all the activities of others. He measures his neighbour by the sickly measure of his heart.

I felt pity for that man in office. He suspected that there might have been some problems, which are, after all, to be expected in life… yet he was taken aback and annoyed when he was told about them. He preferred to remain ignorant of them, to live in the shadow or twilight of his own vision, so that he might remain at ease.

I advised him to face up to these things openly and clearly, so that in this very way they could be got rid of. I assured him that then he would truly live in peace.

You must not solve problems, your own or those of others, by ignoring them; this would be nothing short of laziness and comfort-seeking, which would open the door to the action of the devil.

Have you fulfilled your duty? Have you had a right intention? … You have? —Then do not worry if there are twisted people who discover evil which only exists in their own minds.

Inquisitive people asked you whether you judged that decision of yours, which they considered indifferent, to be good or bad.

And, with a sure conscience, you answered: “I know only two things: that my intention is honest… and that I know how much it cost me.” And you added: God is the reason and the purpose of my life, that is why I am convinced that nothing can be indifferent.

You explained your ideals and your sure, firm way of behaving as a Catholic, and he seemed to accept and understand your way. But afterwards you were left doubting whether he might not have smothered his understanding under his not very well-ordered habits…

—Seek him out again, and explain to him that one accepts truth in order to live by it or try to live by it.

Who are they to want to try things out first?… Why do they have to be mistrustful?, you ask me. —Look, tell them this from me: they should mistrust their own wretchedness. And then you must continue along your own way in peace.

You feel sorry for them. With a complete lack of honesty they throw stones and pretend they haven’t done so.

Listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say about them: “The forgers of error shall be confused and put to shame; they will all be covered in ignominy.” It is a judgement which will be inexorably fulfilled.

You say that many people libel and slander that apostolic enterprise?… Well, as soon as you proclaim the truth, there will already be at least one person who isn’t criticising.

In the most beautiful and promising field of wheat, it is easy to weed out cartloads of charlock, poppies and couch-grass.

Throughout history, the most upright and responsible people have been the object of volumes of malice. Think, too, how much has been said and written against Our Lord Jesus Christ.

I advise you — just as with the field of grain — to collect the golden ripe ears of wheat: the true truth.

You assured me that you want to have a clean conscience, so don’t forget that to pick up a calumny without denying it is to become a refuse-collector.

You call it open-mindedness to admit easily any assertion against a person without hearing what he has to say. This propensity of yours is not precisely justice… even less is it charity.

A calumny sometimes causes harm to those who suffer it… But it truly dishonours those who invent it and spread it… And afterwards they carry a weight in the depth of their souls.

“Why do so many people spread slander?”, you ask in distress…

—Some do so through error, fanaticism or malice. —But most of them pass on the story through inertia, superficiality and ignorance.

That is why, I insist again: when you cannot praise, and there is no need to speak, keep quiet!

When the victim of the slander suffers in silence, “the executioners” are relentless in their bold cowardice.

Distrust those categorical assertions if those who utter them have made no attempt, or have preferred not to speak with the person concerned.

There are many ways of holding an investigation. With a bit of malice, by listening to slanders, ten large volumes can be compiled against any honest person or worthy enterprise. —There will be more if that person or enterprise works effectively. —And even more if that effectiveness is apostolic.

It is sorry work for the investigators, but more pitiful still is the attitude adopted by those who are ready to echo such wicked and superficial assertions.

These people, he said sadly, do not have the mind of Christ, but the mask of Christ… That is why they lack Christian judgement, cannot grasp the truth, and yield no fruit.

We, the sons of God, must not forget that the Master said: “Whoever listens to you, listens to me…” —That is why we have to try to be Christ: never a caricature of him.

In this case, as in so many others, people are doing various things and all think they are right. But God is guiding them, that is to say, over and above their own particular ideas, God’s inscrutable and most lovable Providence will win through in the end.

Allow yourself, therefore, to be guided by the Lord, without opposing his plans, even though they might go against your “basic assumptions”.

It is painful to see that some people are less concerned with learning and taking possession of the treasures acquired by science than they are in spending their time tailoring them to their own taste through a more or less arbitrary process.

But being aware of this must lead you to redouble your effort to go more deeply into the truth.

It is easier to write against people carrying out research, or against those who make new discoveries in science or technology, than to do the research oneself. —But we should not allow those “critics” to pretend at the same time to set themselves up as absolute lords of wisdom who can govern the opinions of the ignorant.

“I just don’t see that, it is not at all obvious”, he said in response to the certain statements of the others… And the obvious thing was his own ignorance.

You are afraid of hurting people, of creating divisions and appearing intolerant… and you are giving in on positions and points which — though you assure me they are not serious! — have fateful consequences for many.

Forgive my sincerity: through your behaviour, you are falling into just the foolish and harmful intolerance that you were concerned to avoid: that of not allowing the truth to be proclaimed.

God in his infinite and perfect justice and mercy treats with the same love, but in an unequal way, his unequal children.

That is why equality does not mean using the same measure for everybody.

You speak a half-truth which is open to so many interpretations that it can really be called… a lie.

Doubt, whether it concerns the field of knowledge or the good name of others, is a plant that is easily sown but very difficult to root out.

You remind me of Pilate: Quod scripsi, scripsi! — what I have written shall not be changed — after he had allowed the most horrible of crimes. You may be immovable, but you ought to have adopted that attitude before… not afterwards!

It is a virtue to act in accordance with our resolutions. But, if in the course of time we think that the facts have changed, we must also act accordingly by changing the way of looking at the problem and solving it.

Don’t confuse holy intransigence with small-minded obstinacy.

“I’ll break, but I won’t bend”, you said cheerfully and somewhat arrogantly.

—Listen to me carefully: A broken instrument remains useless, and leaves the way open to those who, with apparent leniency, afterwards impose a pernicious intransigence.

Sancta Maria, Sedes Sapientiae — Holy Mary, Seat of Wisdom. —Invoke Our Mother often in that way, so that she may fill her children, in their study, work and social relations, with the Truth that Christ has brought to us.

References to Holy Scripture
References to Holy Scripture
References to Holy Scripture
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