“QUENCH NOT THE SPIRIT”
(St Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Thessalonians 5:19)
A message to the Hierarchy of the Catholic Church in these troubled times of Sexual Abuse Allegations.
by Brian Mark Hennessy.
Truth is an eternal constant. It has no hues, nor tints, nor shades. It cannot fade, nor change, nor disappear, nor dwindle over time. Nor can Truth be weathered by wind and rain, nor dissolved and nor replaced. Truth shines in the darkness. Even a diamond of hardest stone has no light of its own in the darkness of night. A diamond can be cut and multi-faceted only to reflect and steal its glints and hues from the myriad lights of God’s own day. Truth has no malleable form. It is not like iron in a blacksmith’s forge where a muscled arm and hammer and anvil can bend or twist and turn its shape or flatten it, or plump it out or pierce it with an eye.
Truth has an unearthly quality. Truth humbles the great and enriches the poor. It cannot be bought with money nor power, be altered by Popes or Bishops, or Kings or Queens, nor Emperors, nor oligarchs, nor strength of numbers, nor generals with armies bristling with swords. Truth cannot be concealed by robes and britches or gowns and cloaks, nor by cassocks and vestments and fancy dress. Nor can it be hid beneath crowns, nor mitres, nor scarlet tassled Cardinal’s hats, nor Judges wigs . It is without blemish and distortion. Truth cannot be changed by lawyers words and legal arguments, by a comma here, a semi-colon or a full-stop there in documents and legal writs and lengthy briefs. Truth is never daunted or dimmed, nor will ever be overwhelmed with fears, nor bought by gifts or gold.
Truth is healing. It is the balm that soothes a wound and assuages pain. It refreshes like the first raindrop to fall on a parched desert. It is the Bearer of peace, the Forgiver of enmities, the Reconciler of adversaries and the Announcer of new beginnings. It is the Hand of friendship and the Bestower of joy and grace to aching hearts and the Comforter of the dying man. Truth is consolation. It wipes away tears, calms anxieties, steadies a racing pulse, relaxes the tensions on a traumatised face. Truth dispels the agonies of a heart and the tortures of a mind. Truth casts out doubts and fears and dries our weeping tears. Truth is Justice. It is a victory, both for those who bore ill and those who were maligned. Truth heals rifts and discords and forgives wrongs, replaces stolen innocence with contrite tears and restores the treasures of the heart that were taken forcibly by trespassers and thieves.
Truth is the Light in darkness. It blesses him that speaks it and those who hear it. Truth brings Hope as does the distant shine of a lighthouse in a tumultuous sea. It sparkles in the eye of a blind man. It is the sudden glimpse of dawn in a dark night, a sunbeam escaping from a clouded sky. It is the first day of Spring at the end of a bitter winter or the first spark of a fire in a cold room. It is that lingering glint of sun on a shimmering sea and more constant than a distant star in a spiralling galaxy.
Truth is Godly. It welcomes God into our hearts. Truth is God’s gift to man: for the man who utters Truth shares in a moment of the goodness of His godliness, senses a brief second of God’s infinity and absorbs one smallest jot of His wisdom. When Truth is said a man will grasp it in his hand and never let go. He will store it in his heart, stare at it when it is writ down. His fingers will trace its letters on a page over and over again and others seeing it will point to it in recognition, bow their heads before it and repeat it aloud to teach their babes. God demands that Truth be spoken and not hid.