• Andrew Comiskey

Seeing Things as They Were: Day 33

Updated: Nov 17

This truth of real things…is contained in the true-to-being-memory. The true-to-being character of memory means simply that it “contains” in itself real things and events as they really are and were. The falsification of recollection by the assent of the will is memory’s worst foe; for it most directly frustrates its primary function: to be a “container” of the truth of real things.’

(The Four Cardinal Virtues, Josef Pieper, p. 15)

‘…unchastity…surrenders to the goods of the sensual world which splits the power of decision in two.’ (The Four Cardinal Virtues, Josef Pieper, p.19)


Much could be said of prudence and her many dimensions. First and foremost, she is established on ‘the truth of real things.’ Leanne Payne describes this as ‘divine objectivity’; Pieper may well attribute this ‘true-to-being’ perception as honed by a sharp mind over many years. One learns to apprehend what one beholds--delineating one thing from another--until the outer view is internalized and can be recounted in the present as it was.

As healing the soul requires an accurate take on the past, any healer undertakes a process of helping a wounded person sort out a true history from a fictional one. Foolish is the therapist who grants absolute credence to fragments of memory that pierce emotion and provoke untested indictments of the client’s loved ones! It takes time and discernment to ascertain ‘the truth of real things’ from a soul’s memories so that proper care can be given to actual injuries and proper responsibility demanded of both the wounded and the wounders. Both are impossible without ‘true-to-being’ memory.

Another challenge lies for those whose credo is unflaggingly “it was all good!” That means “I do not want to look back at the hard stuff in my life, especially if it puts me in conflict with myself and others whom I am trying hard to love today.” Some of us “walk with a limp” due to potholes in our past that we must be willing to face in the light of love if we want to regain our footing.

Some of these wounds are sexual. A lonely friend of mine was seduced into a long-term physical relationship by an older boy; it was shameful and scary at first then became a refuge from a neglectful family. He struggled to see the relationship as it was--a manipulative bond that nearly destroyed his sexual reality.

Another friend, having been abused by her uncle, responded eagerly to a female coach’s overtures in high school; it took years before she could tell the truth of her shame and view the false consolations as they were. These two were ‘split’ by past abuse, which resulted in a crippled capacity to make good moral decisions in the present. Healing requires seeing things as they were, now, and getting proper care as to resume the journey toward wholeness.

Jesus, help us to see things as they were. Forgive us for making some people saints who also damaged us as sinners, and for demonizing others with unwarranted evil. Where we do not recollect with clarity, help us; make us prudent in our recollections so we can heal. Might You even help us to alert others who alter reality and so avoid both pain and the healing that could be theirs?’

‘Jesus, thank You that we are first and foremost citizens of Your Kingdom. Your saving purposes, the plans of Your heart, endure forever (Ps. 33:11). Patriotism and its partisan interests must bow before “Your will be done.” “The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, who trust in His unfailing love” (Ps. 33:18).’

Desert Stream

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