Brian’s Reflection: Monday, March 26, 2012
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd.
Where you come from is gone,
where you thought you were going to never was there,
and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it.
Flannery O’Connor, author, poet, social philosopher;
she was born on this date, 1925, at Savannah GA
In the Gospel Myth (remember: “myth” = “truth story”) , Pontius Pilate asks of Jesus, “What is Truth?” Jesus has no answer.
Not because Jesus couldn’t have said anything … but because it was a rhetorical question. Pontius Pilate represents all of us. Most of the time, we fear knowing the Truth. In the human community - alas – most of us are afraid to know the truth about Ourselves, about Reality, about Joy or Freedom, about the consequences of our failure to love. Besides: if Jesus had answered Pilate, most of us would not have been able to embrace His answer. The truth is, we all have to work it out for ourselves …. as St. Paul so wisely noted …. in “fear and trembling”.
I have said that I read Fiction in order to hear the Truth. I certainly have heard it in Flannery O’Connor’s writing. People who have grasped Truth and who speak it are “odd”. They are not the “norm” among the human community. I find it fascinating that some of the great Truth-tellers throughout literature (which includes the Bible) are definitely “odd”. Rejected (prophets); despised (including Jesus); ridiculed … and very often badly treated.
As to the second quote ~ in a very powerful sense, O’Connor speaks to the ultimate meaning of the extremely “difficult” messages of the doctrine of the Trinity, and of “Eternal Life”. The “acclamation” in the middle of the Eucharistic Prayer (“Christ has died; Christ has risen; Christ will come again”) points to the same reality : Past, Present, and Future collapse into Truth, which is that every Reality exists in the present moment.
I hope that you will find it deepening to ponder Ms. O’Connor’s words today.
I hope that you will know the Truth … and that it will place you among a growing number of the human community called …