I know you’re all wondering, why Carpe Veritatem?
Well, firstly, it’s Latin for “seize the truth”, which I think succinctly captures one of humankind’s deepest instincts. We all yearn for truth, and spend our whole lives pursuing it, and when we think we have found it, we seize it, make it our own, and sometimes it has a profound effect on us, and changes who we are, and the course of our lives. An obvious example of this is when someone experiences a conversion. But we undergo many mini-conversions everyday, as we seek and discover more of the truth of reality, regarding the world, and what it means to live a fully human life, as our daily experiences and our responses to them gradually shape us.
So, pretty awesome stuff. But just to make it even more awesome, the phrase is sort of an amalgamation of two of my favourite movie lines.
The first is from the movie Dead Poets Society:
Setting aside the sense of the finality of death, and the lack of an afterlife that Keating seems to espouse, I think he captures the sense of urgency we ought to have. Death is certainly final, in a sense, for once we die, we have no more opportunity to turn to God, and according to how we have chosen to spend our finite amount of time, we send ourselves either to eternal bliss or eternal suffering. So the time to seek the Way, the Truth, and the Life is now.
That segues into the second movie, The Passion of the Christ, rather nicely.
Here we see a glimpse of Pilate’s personal search for the truth. Later in the movie, we see him discussing this moment with his wife, and he asks her if she recognises the truth when she hears it, implying that he struggles to do so. He seems not to understand the urgent necessity of seeking ultimate truth, as he instead dwells on the immediate problems he faces.
So, as Christians, we ought to understand the pressing need to turn wholly to Christ, and hold fast to Him. And having found Him, we are called not to keep this wonderful encounter with Truth itself to ourselves, but to share it with others. Those who are open to seizing the Good, the True and the Beautiful when they encounter it will do so more rapidly than those who are yet to see the need for it. Yet this quest is intrinsic to what it means to be a human person, as we were created by God to be completely satisfied by naught but Him.
So what are you waiting for?