Truth Bites…Love Ponders
72 Aphorisms for the Soul’s Journey to God *
* These brief, direct guides for seeking God are for an acquired taste. Some are hard to swallow, even bitter. Truth should not be separated from love, however, so each should first be pondered in the heart.
1. That the ground of existence, absolute Being, addresses humans personally is a fact to be discovered. Many throughout history have discovered it. It is the goal of all true religion.
2. The effectiveness of a key is only discovered upon using it. It is the same with the Gospel.
3. Inside our heart is the “imago Dei”, the image of God. The Gospel is the key that unlocks its power. That is how the truth of the Gospel is discovered. But prior to applying this key there are good reasons to take it seriously…
Truth or Myth?
4. The reliability of the New Testament far exceeds what many assume it to be. It is not the Gospel that is myth, but the ideas that people often hold about the reliability of the Gospel.
5. Faith itself is a mystery and a free gift from God. But it begins with taking seriously the evidence available to us, forming belief in accordance with that evidence, and acting in accordance with that belief. This is the integrity that God seeks: following, by acting through truth, becoming doers of the Word.
6. On the way to God, one must become acutely aware that there exists a strong force pulling us away, clouding our vision, obstructing all progress.
7. To find God, one must fight. Fight through resistance, fight through denial, fight through confusion, fight through apathy. Most of all one must fight through the temptation to complacency, simply living as others live. God rewards the fighter with vision of the truth.
8. The way to God is to fight for righteousness, justice, love, and truth. Fight for any of these consistently, whilst seeking God with a desiring heart, and you will find that God leads you into his arms.
9. The fight for the truth must always be active, but never violent. It is the action of charity, prayer, testimony, living example, and martyrdom.
Metanoia – Change of Mind
10. If we conform our mind towards the mind of God, then we will become united with God. This is the beginning and end of Christ’s teaching.
11. The mind of God is known not by man’s own imaginings and reasoning, but by revelation – the face of Jesus.
12. Do not be afraid that the present circumstances of your life are not holy or even just. God welcomes all with open arms who turn to him fully, who are open to his ways, who are ready to listen.
13. The most important thing is to believe and to make acts that demonstrate the sincerity of this belief. God does not reveal himself when we waver without courage.
Truth & Delusion
14. Are you afraid that by immersing yourself in the Gospel and acting in accordance with it, you will become brainwashed, no longer able to tell truth from falsity? If you believe your mind to be so vulnerable to illusion, perhaps you are already in error, in a life with no or little reference to God? Can you really discern the truth or not? Do you trust your own judgement?
15. If you can discern the truth, go and seek it. If you can’t, pray for help.
16. The most damaging delusions are not those held by madmen, but those held by the apparently sane masses.
17. Mass delusion stifles human beings from discovering the truth of themselves, the reality in which they are situated, and their potential destiny. Such delusion is hardly noticed, for it is everywhere and taken for normality.
18. The delusions of the many concerning God (apathy, denial, resistance, selfishness…etc…) are leading people headlong towards the death of their souls. Fight not just for your own soul, but for the souls of others too. It is a fight against falsity, superficiality, and unjust values.
19. It is not the physical body that enters heaven, but the soul. How fit is yours for a journey across darkness?
20. Those who love this world, with no care for God, will be rewarded with this world, and no God. Thus, the unjust appear to thrive. But only for a short while.
21. Invest in Heaven. There is no better investment. The returns are eternal.
22. Invest in Heaven, and Heaven reveals enough to know that your investment is not going to waste. No wonder that some sell all, retreat for a life with God, to invest more of their heart, for the salvation of souls.
Secret of Life
23. What is the secret of life? To find God and never to lose him. What is the secret of death? To know that you are with God. Life is that simple. Nothing more is needed.
Lava Flow of Love
24. To outsiders the Church can be very off putting, inviting negative judgements, distaste, and recoil. But Jesus told us to stop judging by the exterior of things. Inside is a lava flow of love from the Holy Spirit leading the way to salvation. Is the hard exterior “rind” to keep the “riff-raff” out, those who are not truly repentant, not truly seeking? Or is it the work of the Devil keeping people turned away from the cup of salvation? Whichever it is, fight to get inside, and become wise.
Truth & Love
25. The fight is against your own interior judgements, presumptions, suspicions, apathy, and resistance to loving God. That is the fight God calls you to so that you may come to truth and true love.
26. Truth and love do not come to their fulfilment except in God. Are you satisfied with something less?
27. “Why seek God if I can be happy and live a good life without him?” Because what many call a “good life” is contributing to marked injustice and blindness to truth. God calls us to a deeper joy, which is also a struggle for justice, righteousness, and truth. That joy is rooted in eternity. Happiness does not get us there, nor does mere ethical living. It is found on the path of salvation.
28. The way to God is suffering conquered by hope; sacrifice becoming joy; self-denial becoming transcendent fulfilment. All this adds up to a “happiness” which utterly transcends worldly happiness. The abundant witnesses to this are evidence of the way of the Cross taught by Christ.
29. The way to God is never pain free. We must be tested and purified before entering the Kingdom. Have you not seen that written in the scriptures? Did you expect to be “beamed up”, directly following death?
Evidence & Action
30. The list of scientists of the highest rank who have come to believe in God from a careful, objective, and deep analysis of the scientific data is too long to mention.
31. It is not science that gets in the way of believing in God, but pride and resistance to changing one’s thinking and ways. That is a difficult lesson to learn, but it is true, and learning it leads to freedom to commune with the eternal Good.
32. The devil of doubt creeps up the tower of truth, almost to the top. Keep hold of the real substance.
33. There will always be a multitude of reasons to doubt God. That is, there will always be a multitude of reasons to do nothing, change nothing and not seek with the heart. Nevertheless, the truth can be known, but that requires action and a firm grip.
34. The will, and thus action, must be joined to understanding if we are to come into sure knowledge of ultimate truth. Intellectual understanding without the sacrifice of love is ineffective and does not pass into the Eternal sphere.
35. When Jesus commands his disciples to love God and “love one another as I have loved you” he means a crucified love, which is to say, a love that entails total self-abandonment for the ultimate Good, restored communion with God.
36. Coming into the truth is not the discovery of some new object or piece of information, but a transformation of being through crucified love, into a deeper relationship with the Real (aka God).
Belief & Faith
37. Belief is not a living faith; but it is the place to start.
38. Faith is not a hunch; it is a light shining in the darkness.
39. When you come into the light, you will realise that you were in the dark. Until that point you will not know the difference between light and dark.
40. Goodness leads to God, but if we do not aim for God, then we settle for a low form of goodness believing it to be the highest.
41. Common-sense has immense usefulness in the spiritual life of faith; but until we live in accordance with God, common-sense is likely to keep us in the dark, and thus be a danger to our salvation.
42. On realising the reality of Eternal life, logic enters a new domain. Martyrdom may be the most prudent act, should the opportunity arise.
43. Rich men can enter Heaven, but they need God’s helping hand all the more, for wealth is an affliction on the spiritual way. God, however, will teach you how to turn all your afflictions to the good.
44. Abraham was rich, but he lived by faith and was obedient to God. All those on the way of salvation are the spiritual descendants of Abraham.
45. The way to begin repentance is to begin as a child saying sorry for being so far off. Ask for help to find the way back and follow the signs with courage and trust.
46. When light comes it may manifest as a terrible decision or challenge. Do not be afraid, for behind this difficulty is God’s love. Through tackling it with integrity you will grow towards God.
47. If you think you are not worthy for God, kick the devil out of the way, for it is he who whispers such things; then run headlong into God’s arms.
48. “How will I know that I am not deluded when I find God?” Because you will find truth, be transformed in love, and grow in virtue. If, however, these things are not happening in your life, then you are indeed in delusion still.
49. You cannot argue with truth and love when they come entwined together.
50. Test everything against the measure of truth and love.
51. Ask what is most helpful for eternal salvation, not merely for happiness in this life. We must make sacrifices.
52. Wisdom is expending your effort only on what is necessary and expending all of your effort on this.
53. Foolishness is expending all of your effort on what is unnecessary, and leaving none for what is necessary.
54. The tragedy of the human condition is that people mistake foolishness for wisdom and vice versa.
55. The mixed condition is more common, wisdom mixed with foolishness. But is that really wise? Would you drink a glass of cloudy water?
56. If you think my advice extreme, then what about the goal, the One Who is infinity itself!
57. Let us retain proper perspective by doing all with love, and step by step, lest we get over-excited.
58. Pierce through all the contradictions of religion successfully and you will have found wisdom.
59. There is no point continuing to argue about the truth, only love prepares the way for it.
60. Why are you so committed to the world’s ways? God offers something better. Could your values be askew?
61. If our minds and values are askew, would we know it clearly without God’s intervention? Might we be blind to our own blindness without Divine help? This was the message of Jesus. Many rejected it. Were they blind or did they have sight?
62. Christian faith is a happy madness, for whilst appearing foolish to others, and suffering with love, one is secretly acquiring the wisdom for Eternal Life.
63. No wisdom is acquired without sincere prayers for those who persecute and deride us.
64. What is foolish to the many is the royal road to truth.
65. Who do you trust most? Yourself? The many? Or God?
66. If a person trusts themselves more than God, should we trust that person?
67. The way to truth is to follow the instructions of the One who made us. It is that simple.
Obedience of Faith
68. Obedience is a negative word to modern man, but it is simply the exercise of virtue, principally courage and faith, to the knowledge that a higher authority exists who invites us to love. If we do not act, we have not yet understood.
69. The multitude of noise and protest that people make about God is proof that many are not listening.
70. When we listen to God it is not the ears that must be attentive, but the heart. Notice how our thoughts try to interfere with that listening. The restless, contrary mind must be kept at bay.
71. As every tradition knows, there comes a point on the religious path when it is better to remain silent, for: ‘the wise man does not say what he knows; and the fool does not know what he says.’
72. Silence is the way that opens when we listen to God.
11th June 2023
(Originally composed 2016)