Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Friday, May 12, 2006

Love for the Truth...

Amy Welborn recently posted that she liked John Cornwell's latest book and this has been picked up on other blogs. The comments on this are interesting and worth a read. They also provoked me to think about just how open we are to truth, wherever it may be found...

Sometimes, people like Cornwell, Kung, Schillebeeckx, Curran and their ilk are uncharitably maligned and almost demonized. I recently read a distressing series of posts on fr Timothy Radcliffe OP because of a thoughtful and sensitive talk he gave in Los Angeles. However, this demonizing of the other person or a simple refusal to be open to what an 'opponent' is saying or trying to communicate - whatever the medium - is a barrier to a genuine love and thirst for truth.

I am not saying we need to agree or approve of what another says if indeed it is contrary to genuine Christian faith and morals but we ought to be willing to listen carefully, or read the book, and then engage with the ideas raised and grapple with them to seek the truth (if there is any) being expressed. Vilification, denigration and unhelpful criticism is surely not the charitable Christian way? And lest some think I am erring in this, or if they misunderstand me, may I offer first and foremost the following thought from St Thomas Aquinas:

"When taking up or rejecting opinions a person should not be led by love or hate concerning who said them but only by the certitude of truth. [Aristotle] says we should love both kinds of people: those whose opinions we follow, and those whose opinions we reject. For both study to find the truth and in this way they are our helpers."
Sententia super metaphysicam, XII, 2566

Such is the openness to truth and the charity of a saint. Error certainly has to be rejected and corrected but with love, patience and understanding. St Thomas Aquinas' approach and that of other early Dominicans (such as St Albert the Great) is the Dominican approach to study, debate and inquiry, at its best. Let's learn from him what it means to love the truth and to seek it with all our heart...


Anonymous Brandon Field said...

It is sad to see people slander Fr. Radcliffe in such a way. I have always found his talks (I think I've read all the ones on by him) to be insightful and inspiring. You mentioned St. Albert, though, and he himself came up against opposition for his study and teaching of Aristotle. So I guess people have always just wanted to dismiss what they don't like, and I guess Dominicans have always wanted to take what is True out of everything they can find.

5:40 pm  

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