Truth and certainty
How are you so sure that what you believe is the truth?
Letter from Carlos on May 09, 2000
How can you be so sure that your truth (affirmed and reaffirmed) is not a matter of Faith. For I can have faith in anything. You say that the truth is unique, and I agree with that.
But how do you know that what you believe is the Truth? Can't the truth be only a vision? Some believe only in themselves, others in God and still others in Satan, it is a matter of choice. How can you be so sure… it's just a matter of believing and so you believe what you want. The bible was written by men and without it there is nothing else to base it on. The truth may be otherwise.
How can you be so sure?
I sent this letter, because I always had this doubt. How can you be so sure? I've heard it: The only sure thing in this life is death!
Response from Orlando Fedeli
To start, I must tell you that we do not have "our" truth. It is wrong to say, as you wrote, that someone has "his truth". The truth is one, and it does not depend on anyone's opinion. Thanks be to God, you accept that the truth is one.
Truth is the adequacy of the idea of the knowing subject to the known object. When the idea we have of a thing corresponds to that thing, we have the truth.
If everyone had a different idea of the reality that we know through the senses and the intelligence, you could not be sure that you wrote us a letter asking this question. Nor would be sure if, in fact, we have a computer in front of us. Imagine if each one had a particular idea of reality, without being sure that the others had the same idea. Imagine, for example, two chess players playing a game, what a mess there would be! Neither of them could invite the other, because they wouldn't know for sure if the other exists and if there is chess.
The confusion of our days, dear Benjamin, arises precisely from the idea that everyone has their truth. This idea, widespread in our time, makes the 20th century similar to a lunatic asylum, since it is in a lunatic asylum that everyone thinks what they want on everything.
I must also tell you that you are wrong to say that Faith can be held in anything.
I don't have faith that I'm using my computer: I know that I'm using it. I don't have faith that the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares on the other two sides (of a triangle). I understand this truth by my natural reasoning. I don't have Faith that God exists. I know that He exists by the use of my reasoning, because the existence of God is rationally proven, and therefore it is not of Faith.
Faith we have only in the truths which God has revealed to us and which our reason cannot comprehend.
Thus, we have Faith that in God there are three equal and distinct persons, because Our Lord Jesus Christ, God and true Man, taught us this. And being God, He cannot be deceived and neither can deceive us. That's why we believe in what He has revealed to us. And we believe with absolute certainty.
You say that each one can "believe in himself, in God or in satan, and that this would be a matter of choice".
Now, whoever believed in himself would be a madman, because I know myself. I don't believe in myself.
Furthermore, everyone knows that he does not understand everything, and therefore, a man who had "faith" in himself would be a madman.
To believe in satan would be another madness. How to believe in the father of lies?
The Bible was not written by men, but by God. Just as I do not say that the computer writes this letter, but myself, so God wrote the text of Scripture using scribes. The author of the Bible is God himself.
And you are only sure of death, because you are also sure that you are alive. So you're not sure just about death. And if you're only sure of death, because you've heard others say it, then you're also sure you've heard it from others and you absolutely know that they exist.
In any case, you are not only sure of death.
And for all that, I'm sure I wrote you this letter in response to your missive. Hoping — but not sure — that you will understand what I have written to you, I leave you in the certainty that God will have mercy on you and me.
in Corde Jesu, semper,
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