To discover what is true is something ingrained in our human nature. We all want to learn. From the moment we can talk, we ask, “Why?”. Any parent of a young child can tell you the list of questions they receive a day is endless. The questions never stop… and they shouldn’t.
The whole field of science (knowledge) is designed to pursue the truth, to investigate phenomena in the world and work out the what, the why, and the how.
As humans, we love learning new things, and we love sharing fun facts. We have professors at universities who dedicate their life to learning and teaching science, history, mathematics, architecture and rules of language. We appreciate the art and music and literature that portrays the truth through imitations of nature and the human experience. We join trivia nights at pubs to contribute what we know and learn a little along the way. Everything we do is somehow aimed towards a pursuit of truth.
So what does this have to do with virtue?
Virtue honours truth.
The virtues point to the truth about we should live. Virtue tells us the truth is good and we need things like courage and wisdom to stand up for the truth. We can do this in our daily lives in so many ways. Because to defend the truth, we must first know it.
What is truth? Truth is God and His law.
Plenty of people choose to accept or reject the teachings of our faith. Modern teaching about religion refers to Chrisitiantiy as a “worldview” just like any other religion. It’s taught as an “option” that you might like to approach life and decisions with. But it’s so much more than that.
And we need to educate ourselves on it. We need to actively seek information that isn’t just dropped into our laps. We need to read books, watch videos, listen to podcasts and ask questions of our faith leaders. Infact, we also need to question what we are taught if we don’t understand it, how else will we learn?
We shouldn’t be afraid to ask difficult questions. And even more so, we shouldn’t be afraid of the difficult answers. How can we be truly faithful to a God and Church we aren’t even willing to learn about? How can we live a virtuous life if we don’t even know why we are doing it in the first place?
There isn’t actually some long list of do’s and don’ts that provides specifics about what is right for every life scenario. A lot of knowing what’s right and wrong comes from applying truth to a situation. If we know they WHY, we can usually figure out the WHAT (especially those that are specific to us).
If you don’t regularly educate yourself about your faith – now is the time to start. If you don’t pursue knowledge outside of your comfort zone – now is the time to start. The truth isn’t always palatable, often it requires us to change somehow – and that’s all what living a life of virtue is about.
Elise is a 4th Year Medical student from rural NSW who enjoys a variety of sports and being outdoors. She also loves food but when it comes to cooking – she claims to burn water.
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