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16. Truth

1. Truth is the agreement or conformity of reality and the mind's judgment on reality. It is "the equation of thought and thing". Truth resides formally, or as such, in the mind which rightly judges a thing to be what it really is. Thus, formally, truth is truth of thought. There is also what is called truth of things; this is called ontological truth. It consists in the necessary conformity of things with the divine mind. For God knows all things perfectly, and upon this knowledge things depend for existence, and even for possibility of existence.

2. Formal or logical truth is in the mind's true judgment on reality. If the creatural mind judges wrongly, it is in the state of logical falsity or error. Truth is not, strictly speaking, in the ideas or concepts of the mind, but in the judgment by which the mind pronounces on the agreement or disagreement of its ideas and the reality which these ideas represent.

3. A thing is knowable, and can be conceived and pronounced upon by the mind, in so far as it is a thing at all, that is, in so far as it has being. And whatever has being is infallibly known for what it is by the divine mind; hence being and the true are really the same. Between them there exists only a logical distinction, not a real one.

4. In the human mind, being is prior to the true, for man adverts to the fact that a thing is a being before he notices that it stands in necessary conformity with the divine mind, and is therefore necessarily true.

5. As we have seen, God knows all things perfectly in knowing himself. Here we have absolute conformity of knower and object known; indeed, this conformity is identity. Hence we do not merely say that there is truth in the divine mind, or that God has truth. We say that God is Truth. God is Truth, eternal, absolute, sovereign, infinite, substantially existing as one with the undivided divine nature and substance.

6. All truths are in the divine mind. Many truths can be in creatural minds. Many truths can be in the same mind, and their number can increase as the mind makes more and more true judgments.

7. Truth is eternal in God alone. Man can know things that are eternally true, and these things are said to be true in themselves. But these truths are true in themselves only because God eternally knows them to be true.

8. And truth is changeless only in the changeless God. Creatures know many a changeless truth, but their knowing it is in no way the cause of its changelessness. And creatural knowing is not a changeless achievement. Creatural minds may disregard certainly known truths; human minds may forget truths once known. And there is a kind of change in a mind that learns new facts which make a known truth better known, or which reveal it in wider application.

"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."
St Philip Neri

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"Happy is the youth, because he has time before him to do good. "
St Philip Neri

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