The Open Mind and Truth

25 Jun

The Open Mind and Truth

I used to be allergic to the phrase “open-minded.” In fact, I still have trouble typing it without getting the shakes. But I’m getting over it. In fact, I could get used to it. That being said, please keep an open mind as you read this article.

I suppose I should explain my one-time difficulty with open-mindedness. To me it was right up there with things like “diversity” and “pluralism,” terms which many times seemed to be used by those who would rather knock Catholicism off its high horse. “Let us remind ourselves,” they would say, “that there are other religions out there, other belief systems, other ideals than our own.” Or. “If only we were to embrace diversity and listen to people with open minds, we might realize that we can ©€∈χ!5+ (as the bumper stickers might say).

Perhaps that doesn’t sound that bad to you. But for a young and naïve, yet convinced, Catholic, those who run around waving the “open-minded” flag can seem to be a threat to one’s faith. It may seem as if to be open-minded would mean to grant that what someone holds to be true (in this case the Catholic faith) may actually not be true, or at least not as true as once thought. Meanwhile, there are those who accuse serious Catholics with the crime of being “closed-minded” simply because they assert the Catholic faith to be true and counter beliefs and opinions to be false.

So has this Catholic here loosened his rosary beads and embraced some sort of “I’m ok, you’re ok” mantra? Has he found a newfound freedom from out-dated Catholic rigidity and the confines of dogma? And while we’re asking questions, why is he speaking in the third person? Perhaps it just has to do with coming to a better understanding of what it really means to be open-minded. Or, better yet, what virtue there is in such a posture.

Here’s what I’ve found: a worthwhile open-mindedness, to me, means to listen to someone else, to truly consider their perspective, and then try to understand where they’re coming from. Then, when you’ve accomplished that, decide what is true in what they say. And yeah, that means that you have to consider the possibility that you might be wrong about something. This, as hard as it might be, doesn’t need to threaten faith. In fact, that should actually affirm your faith, if your belief system includes things like fallen nature and original sin, which will cause you to be wrong on occasion.

I’ve learned a lot from non-Catholics, including how to be a better Catholic. Because the truth is, if the Catholic faith, by the power of the Holy Spirit, professes the fullness of truth, then nothing we learn is going to threaten it. In fact, everything we learn, if it is true, only leads us towards the One who is Truth itself. Regardless of whom we learn it from.

Isaac Huss

2 Responses to “The Open Mind and Truth”

  1. Kristen June 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    This post really resonates with me. I could not agree with you more. Over the last couple of years, the more OPEN MINDED I can be, the more resolved, grounded and peaceful I have become with my Catholic faith. Weird, huh?

  2. julz422 June 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Great job, Isaac! I really appreciate what you have to say & you say it well! Peace

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