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By Sr. Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican


Truth-seeking the truth- telling takes courage and hope. Sometimes speaking the truth can back –fire, as this short story illustrates. A very conscientious doctor told his patient the truth that his days were numbered. “You have one week to live at most. It is time to get your affairs in order. Is there anyone in particular you would like to see before you die?” The man opened wide his eyes, looked up and said.” Yes, another doctor.” Several places in scripture, the Spirit of Truth is offered to us, a Truth that will set us free. Jesus also said: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” We live in a time of false promises. People are finding that the promises made in the mass media that offered us much are delivering very little. Many today are eager to search deeper to find the truth. They are spending a lot of time and energy seeking for lesser gifts when God wants us to have it all and live our lives with hope and meaning and fulfillment.


It takes much courage to be a truth-seeker and truth-teller in our world today. In our own Dominican Community, we describe ourselves as “Committed to Truth and Compelled to Justice.”  In doing this we make ourselves vulnerable, but that is the price we pay to be a witness to our beliefs. The question often asked in churches, “Do we as faith community accommodate our religion and beliefs to fit our comfort level and our culture?  Are we more worried about being politically correct, rather than people who speak the truth with courage and hope?”


Where do we begin in our search for truth?


We start with ourselves individually and in the services and institutions under our jurisdiction. Richard Rohr, theologian and author, calls us first of all to the path of inner truth. We must discover and claim the God-given worth as people who have great potential for good. We also look at our shadow–side. This does not mean putting ourselves down, but claiming God’s mercy and goodness in ourselves and in those around us. It is often easier to demonize others and blame them for things that are going wrong. Today we see this happening at national and international levels, in wars and conflicts around the world. By looking at God’s beauty and bounty in ourselves and others, then we can pass on a reverence for life which is at the heart of truth-telling and justice-making.


Then we can look at the institutions under our care and ask,?Do we live our mission, especially in our care and concern for the impoverished of our day, in our commitment to racial and economic justice? We can address our cultural values and challenge those that are not life-giving.


Today there is a lack of truth and a lack of belief in objective truth. The question is often asked: “Is culture shaping our faith and religion?” Will we speak out against the death penalty, poverty and other moral issues of our time?” Timothy Radcliffe, OP, often reminds us that there is a great lack of truth that has led us to the most violent century in history. War, poverty, and other ills are the result of our inability to seek the Truth together and work to build a common home for  the  whole human family.


We can create circles of truth seeking and learn how to define our lives and life-styles under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We can then find ways to live the truth in a world desperately in need of it. By choosing and living the truth, we can be people of hope in a time of chaos. This means taking a chance on God’s future. People are thirsting for a word of hope that tells us that another world is possible, a world more in line with God’s design for all people. It places human dignity and human rights at the center of our mission.  When adults change, our children and youth will follow. 


The final words of Bishop Gerardi who gave his life while speaking the truth on behalf of the victims of Guatemala’s civil war, offer us many challenges.  He said: “Truth is an open door for people to breathe and speak in freedom for the creation of communities with hope. Peace is possible.   It is a painful truth, full of anguish and bloody wounds.  It is also a liberating and humanizing truth. It is a truth that challenges each of us to recognize our individual and collective responsibility and to commit ourselves to action so that those abominable acts will never happen again.”


 Two days after he delivered his message, the bishop was beaten to death in his garage by a team of military assassins who wanted to punish him for speaking the truth. His words live on and give us courage and hope.


 Jesus, our life, our truth and our hope, fill us with your courage to be truth-seekers and boldly speak and live Your truth. Let us begin today with courage, conviction and hope.



Dominican Preaching Archive

Preaching is at the heart of the Dominican vocation. The Dominican Leadership Conference claims for all members of the Dominican Family the right to preach, and commits itself to the struggle this claim entails. The injustices of our day compel us to place the charism of preaching at the service of the poor and powerless. The Dominican prophetic message, rooted in experience, study and prayer, will move both preachers and hearers of the word to act for the transformation of oppressive structures. The Conference on its part will act corporately, confronting evil with the Gospel and working for the construction of a just world order.

We embrace the mission of preaching for justice with a commitment to act in collaboration with one another and all those with and among whom we minister

------Dominican Leadership Conference

(The latest additions are shown first.  Click on an article title below to view it.)

• A Call to Light the World With Truth •
• A Harvest of Thanksgiving •
• Blessed Are the Peacemakers •
• Dominic's Daring Dream •
• Dominic, Preacher of Grace •
• Inside Darkness - The Film •
• Acquiring Legal Status Under Fedral Immigration Law •
• Living With Integrity •
• Preaching Participation •
• Reclaiming the Gift of Prophetic Preaching •
• The Call And the Challenge To Address Racism •
• United Nations •

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