Speaking the Truth

by Melanie on August 29, 2017

in Catholicism, Martyrs, Nonfiction, Saints, Spirituality, Your Daily Tripod

Note: On Tuesdays and some Sundays, you can find me at Your Daily Tripod, owned by my friend TonyD. A longer version of the post below appears there.

There was something about John the Baptist. Everyone saw it, his followers and his enemies alike. Even Herod, the king who would have him put to death, saw it. He liked to talk with John, even though John was quite straightforward about the inappropriateness of Herod’s marriage to an ex-wife of one of his brothers. (Or, as some scholars posit, John’s potential ability to effect a rebellion.) In any event, charisma notwithstanding, Herod decided the risk of loss of stature—in the eyes of his wife, his stepdaughter, his court, his people—was too great.

From John and from Jesus, we learn that the truth can be costly, no matter how compassionately and gently and kindly it is shared. Being a Christian and attempting to live the Gospel doesn’t guarantee us friends; indeed, it is likely to result in quite the opposite. And yet, it is what we are called to do: when we witness disharmony in family relationships. When we witness injustice at work. When we witness a disregard for corporal or spiritual mercy by those we don’t even know by name. We are called to speak the truth—as gently as a nursing mother, as Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 2—but to speak it. Better to lose our heads, figuratively or as John the Baptist did, than to lose our souls.

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