A Priest Sends Along His Thoughts on the Noble Lie

A Priest Sends Along His Thoughts on the Noble Lie October 12, 2015

He writes:

I just read your recent post about lying, and I wanted to share something I’ve been thinking and preaching about recently.  You may have already spent time with this possibility, but it seems clear to me that there’s also a terrible spiritual consequence to our lying.  Here’s my logic:

When we lie to make life somehow easier or better for ourselves or others, we’re separating ourselves or others from reality.  God loves us in reality, so when we separate ourselves or others from that reality, we potentially separate ourselves from receiving God’s love.  It’s a kind of contraception.  Jesus has promised to suffer with us as a way of showing us love.  When we escape (or help others to escape) from suffering by lying, are we not also escaping from the place where God’s love is available to us?

I think that’s good.  Lily Tomlin said, “The problem with the rat race is that, even if you win, you are still a rat.”  Transposed into biblical language, it means “What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”  Or if you prefer the language of fantasy, it’s “Don’t try to use the One Ring to defeat Sauron.” The problem with lying for the greater good is that whatever its effects on the external world, it makes you a liar.  And as long as you defend being a liar instead of repenting being a liar, you are, indeed, divorcing yourself from reality.  Because the ultimate reality is that God is Truth, not lies.

God love you for speaking the truth in a world of lies, Padre.  May God bless your work in the Vineyard!  If I ever get out your way to speak (or you wind up in Seattle) let’s have lunch!

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  • jordanhenderson

    I recall reading somewhere that St. Thomas Aquinas equated lying with misuse of proper use to communicate (mouth) much like contraception is misuse of proper use of other facilities.