One of the dangers of reading too much, is that you store brilliant little nuggets in your brain and then forget where you read them! This is especially true when I`m cyber-surfing. I zip from local to national to international news, checking out several sites for balance. Then it`s time to check out the latest catholic news pages and blogs. Oh, and who can resist those tantalizing head-lines on the Yahoo home-page. Yes, of course I want to see the shocking fashion disaster on the latest red carpet…who doesn`t?!
I read recently (I don`t know where!) that our theology is affected by the emphasis we place on either truth or love. Oh no, yet another dividing line to categorize Catholics. Truth and love are central to our faith. How can we think of placing them in competition?
But, as is often the case, we build up a dichotomy by placing an undue emphasis on one to the detriment of the other. Church history is full of examples. The early councils concerned themselves with the heady question of the humanity and divinity of Jesus. They finally concluded that it`s not either-or, but both-and. Hard to wrap your head around, but such is the reality of mystery.
The reflection around truth-centered or love-centered theology goes something like this. Those who focus on the truth are more concerned about rules and regulations. Faithfulness is measured by obedience to the teachings of the church in all matters.
Those who focus on love are less concerned about dogmas, doctrines and ritual and more concerned about social justice and living the gospel in the world.
We have to be wary of any generalizations or over-simplifications. But, there is some truth (!) in this observation. And, as with other unnecessary dichotomies, they occur when we take the pendulum and swing it too aggressively in one direction or the other. And when we hang around on the extreme edges too long, the judging often begins. Traditionalists accuse the progressives of apostasy or heresy. Progressives accuse traditionalists of having a lack of gospel charity.
There is beauty and harmony when truth and love are in balance. How well do we balance truth and love in our own lives? Do you know someone who exemplifies this balance? What does their faith look like?