Do young people today want to hear the truth?


Three years ago this writer submitted an article called “What is Truth?” In that article I wrote that since God is one, he can possess only one truth, and that truth is known as absolute and objective.

Could it be that, because of our fallen nature, the human tendency is to rationalize the truth? Don’t we tend to stretch, manipulate and make politically correct the many facets of the truth about things in our ordinary lives? Do we manufacture ways to sound pleasing, to skirt the issues, to make people feel good about our presentation of “the truth?” In short, do we present so much of what we say in such a way that the one hearing will still hold us in the highest esteem?

Perhaps we also, because of the forgoing mode of thinking, kid ourselves about what is really true and end up with a kind of “half-truth” in which we make it comfortable or convenient to believe what we believe as long as it doesn’t interfere with our present life style. In other words, we get ourselves involved with a kind of relativism; what’s true for you may not be true for me, or what’s good for me may not be good for you.

I believe that young people today, because of that beautiful idealism that is part of youth, see through all of the relativism or lip service that goes on in modern society. I believe that they really want to hear the truth, that they are searching for what many of us already recognize as our Supreme Creator, Almighty God, perhaps without a clear understanding of what they are really searching for. But the genuineness of their search cannot be denied. They are searching for the truth.

Recently many of our youth (approximately 100,000) attended an enormous gathering. The gathering was larger than any known rock group could garner; it was a coming together of America’s youth to be with the Holy Father of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II. Why does the pope excite and have such a draw on our youth? There can only be one possible explanation: John Paul II tells them The Truth; the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.

Perhaps we all could endear ourselves more readily to our youth if we were to take better care to express to them only the unadulterated truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Maybe they would listen.

Father Jerome F. Schwab is pastor of Corpus Christi Church in Lexington.