Sermon on the Spirit of Truth and the Rampant Vice of Lying
Alexandra Clark | The Daily Knight
Anonymous Priest, May 2021:
Today, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Apostles, and disciples are preparing to receive the "Spirit of Truth," the Paraclete. He will strengthen everyone so that they will always give testimony to the truth and speak and teach nothing but the truth. You and I as followers of Christ are called love truth and always hold firmly to it. We as Catholics must hate and shun all untruth and lies. Untruth and lie should never come out of the mouth of a Catholic whose heart is the temple of the Holy Ghost. Unfortunately, lying is widespread among Catholics today. Parents and children, the rich and poor, the high and low, all tell lies! The 8th Commandment of God: "Thou shalt no bear false witness." is forgotten and outright disobeyed. Unfortunately, too many people make no account of lying and look upon it either as no fault or as very excusable. However, lying is both I. Heinous (shockingly cruel) and II. Pernicious (causing death)
Part One: Lying is HEINIOUS A) The person who tells lies resembles the devil. The spirit of untruth deceived our first parents, persuading them to eat the forbidden fruit, with the understanding they would "be like God." The devil continues to lie all day every day. Whoever tells lies is a representative of Satan. Christ told the scribes and Pharisees: "you are of your father, the devil" ( John 8: 44). And G.K Chesterton describes that, “The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice.” B) Lying is opposed to the Divine law. In multiple passages and in Sacred Scripture we are told that lying is a horrible vice:
"Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord" ( Proverbs 12:22). "The manners of a lying man are without honor and their confusion is with them without ceasing ( Eccl. 20: 26-28). Christ called liars: "children of Satan" and commands us to speak the truth (Matthew 5:37).
C) Lying is forbidden by the Church Fathers. St. Augustine wrote a book called, "On Lying." (see here: https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1312.htm). He says it is not lawful to tell a lie even though we could obtain the salvation of a man or even the entire world. Saint Ambrose says, "Beware of a lie, for those who love lies are children of the devil not by nature but by imitation." St. Justin says, "we will rather not live than tell a lie." How truly the saint spoke. Millions of Catholics proved that during the persecution which lasted 300 years. They might have saved their estates, their liberty, their very lives, by an apparently insignificant lie. When asked by the pagan judges whether they were Catholics, all they had to do was to say, "We are not." No harm would have come to them. Who would not think that under these circumstances they would have allowed themselves to tell a lie? They did not lie to save their own lives. E) Aristotle said, lying is a vice of slaves and mean persons. When the Greeks caught anyone telling a lie they branded him and declared him incapable of ever holding public office. Among the Persians the two greatest crimes were the refusal to pay debts and lying. F) Lying is a disgrace to man and to God. the highest dignity of man is and consist in his being in the likeness of god. Man violates the dignity when he speaks an untruth, because God is Eternal Truth and he hates a lie. He gave man a tongue to give testimony to the truth. God intended man to use his tongue as an instrument to outwardly express with accuracy and truthfulness what is in his heart. When your mouth tells a lie, the tongue as a part of God's creation is frustrated and its ability to do what God wants it to be used for.
Part II: Lying is Pernicious A) It injures the individual. When you lie to others they think, speak, and act otherwise then they should and in such a way suffer more or less loss. Think about the lie that causes people to lose house and home; the confidence of another person; their honor or good name; the means to support oneself? We have become so comfortable with speaking lies and accepting of lies we hear, that most people have lost both their desire to search for truth and are thus more willing to believe a lie. They love lies more than truths and therefore are open to accepting the lies even when they know they are lies!! Think of all the lies being told today that are causing harm to souls and bodies: abortion, homosexuality, gender, evolution, the covid-19 vaccines, etc. B) Religion and the Church. Lies have caused heresies, schisms and establishes many sects. If this is not true, why in over a thousand years, not only individuals, but entire nations, separated from the Catholic Church and formed many new religious organizations? History answers this question. It was and still is false teachers that did not stop preaching and teaching lies against the Catholic Church. The false teachers and preachers have misrepresented the Catholic Church. They have been successful in deluding many Catholics and led them away from the One True Church. Why was the early Church so bitterly hated and persecuted in the first centuries by the Gentiles? We find the reason again in lying tongues. They said that the Catholics were opposed to the enlightenment of the people, just as in our own days. They said that we were doing every kind of mischief in secret. They told lies like Catholics killed children and drink their blood. The people believed these and other lies about Catholics. This was the source of the deep-seated hatred of Catholics. Why is it that so few heretics return to Mother Church and die in error? Answer: because of lies. The Catholic Faith, in their books and writings which they used to teach their errors are filled with misrepresentations of our Faith. They say things like we adore the saints and their images, that we are idolaters. We give greater homage and worship to Mary than Jesus our Redeemer, the lies go on and on and on. Think about the lies of freemasonry, Modernism, pachamama, etc. C) The entire human race. What if lying was lawful, how would matters stand with human society? All confidence would be lost. What would happen if you wanted to make a contract for goods and services with someone? You might be deceived or be the one to deceive. If it ended up in legal court, how could you call a witness in your defense or to attack you? If lying were lawful all orders in the world would vanish and there would be so much confusion that we could no longer live together. D) The liar himself. A person known to be a liar is not believed; he is shunned, despised and detested. A pagan writer once said: " as the verge of the cliff so I hate him whose tongue speaks otherwise than his heart speaks. " God detest liars and punishes them both in time and then eternity. It is true that not every lie is a mortal sin but as every venial sin carelessly committed, naturally draws mortal sins after it, so it is with lies. "The mouth that lies kills the soul," (Wisdom 1:11). "Into thy hands I commend my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, the God of truth." [Psalms 30:6] I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments I have not forgotten." [Psalms 118:30]