Via, Veritas, Vita

During RCIA this evening an idea hit me. I was trying to communicate the fact that the Christian faith is not just a list of rules to be obeyed or a list of doctrines to be believed, but it is an encounter with a person. It is a way of life. It is a journey and a destination, a beginning and an end.

Jesus Christ says he is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We often break these down and think of him as the Way to the Father, the Truth to be believed and the Life that he wins through his death and resurrection. That’s okay, but maybe it is more than that. Maybe Via, Veritas, Vita are a little Holy Trinity. Maybe the three are one and the one three. Maybe all three are intertwined and inextricably combined, so that the Way is the Truth, and the Truth is the Life and the Life is the Way and the Life is the Truth and the Truth is the Life and the Truth is the Way.

In other words, The Truth can only be experienced as we walk with Christ in the Way, and the Way can only be discerned as we understand Christ the Truth, and the Way and the Truth are all fulfilled in the Life we lead in Christ and through Christ. With St Paul we say, “To live is Christ” and ‘My life is hid with Christ in God.

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  • The Ironic Catholic

    It’s been years since I read Augustine’s De Trintate, but he played around with “triads” as well, yes? And the way triads can point to the mystery of the Trinitarian life?I like this. Makes you think.

  • Jeannine

    “Come my way, my truth, my life;Such a way as gives us breath,Such a truth as ends all strife,Such a life as killeth death.”I think it’s George Herbert adapted as a hymn by Vaughn Williams.

  • W.

    This reminds me of Pope Benedict’s words, “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” (Deus Caritas est) I really like the expression and meaning of “a new horizon and a decisive direction.” It adds so much to looking forward and the new possibilities that open up when we live with Christ.This also reminds me of the one who had some influence on the way Pope Benedict thinks and lives his “Being Christian”: Luigi Giussani. Giussani’s latest book translated into English gets at some of what you are saying, especially at the beginning of your post. Giussani’s title: The Journey to Truth Is an Experience. The more we understand what Giussani means by these terms, the richer can be our experiences and our understanding of these experiences. I strongly recommend the last link above.

  • jim thompson

    amen. and AMEN to augustine’s “de trinitatae.”