Truth sees God, and wisdom contemplates God, and from these two comes the third, which is a holy marvellous delight in God, which is love. Where truth and wisdom truly are, there is love.Julian of Norwich. Revelations of Divine Joy; Long Text, Chapter 44.
“The simple believes everything, but the prudent looks where he is going. A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool throws off restraint and is careless. A man of quick temper acts foolishly, but a man of discretion …is patient. The simple acquire folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.”Prov 14: 13-15
Have you ever wondered why there are chairs in an art gallery? No, it’s not to rest you tired feet (although that’s what I use them for). They are there to contemplate the paintings. For a purest, they should be placed as far away as to be able to see the whole painting in one ‘view’, but not too distant as to allow distraction from other works.
When we discover God, we discover Truth. The trouble is, it seems there are quite a few ‘truths’ out there to choose from, especially regarding the sin of others. I remember a politician being interviewed recently. They came out, guns blazing concerning the contents of an important document. When asked if they had actually read it, they admitted that they had not found the time, but had been ‘briefed’ on it by an aid. It wasn’t their greatest hour.
Truth is a doorway to the knowledge of God, but it is wisdom that we dwell on that truth for ourselves, allowing it to take us through the journey of grasping the fullness of that truth and allowing it to change us. It was St Anthony, one of the desert fathers, who said that ‘he who does not know himself, does not know God.’ The prize, of course, is that we find that the love that we experience from ‘knowing’ truth, allows us in turn to see it through hearts that have gradually been turned from stone to flesh by it.
Love comes not from the thin, easy, popular theology of the latest author with the loudest voice, but from spending time with The Author with the quietest.