BEING PARTICIPANTS IN TRUTH
The Lord says: 'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is made up only of rules taught by men.'
Truth cannot aid us until we become participators in it. We only possess what we experience.
St. Gregory of Sinai, who lived in the fourteenth century, taught that understanding and participation were inseparable in the spiritual life. “He who seeks to understand commandments without fulfilling commandments, and to acquire such understanding through learning and reading, is like a man who takes a shadow for truth. For the understanding of truth is given to those who have become participants in truth (who have tasted it through living).
Those who are not participants in truth and are not initiated therein, when they seek this understanding, draw it from a distorted wisdom. Of such men the apostle says ‘the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit,’ even though they boast of their knowledge of truth.”
Here is a simple but neglected doctrine that should be restored to its rightful place in the thinking and teaching of the Church. It would work wonders.
Some of us measure our commitment to Christ by the truth we mouth and the rules we keep—rules which may be man-made and not from God. But truth must be tasted through living if we are to be participants in it.
Lord, teach me what it means to participate in Your truth that through it I may be free.