Good, true, beautiful…

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
-Philippians 4:8

We don’t know where these three words came from. Some say from Plato, and some say Bonaventure, and others say Aquinas. Nevertheless, three ideas wove their way into Church tradition, and the Church embraces the idea that God has three inseparable transcendental qualities. They’re called the three transcendentals – the good, the true, and the beautiful. God is good, God is true, and God is beautiful in equal parts all at the same time.

Like a descriptive trinity, everything that is all three of these at the same time is from God. We cannot get into our lives too much truth, right? That’s why we have the news, universities, the Bible. You can’t have too much goodness – people doing good things for you, people helping others, right? You can’t have too much beauty either – in art, in nature, in other people.

These three things bring meaning to the soul. And all three are incredibly important. So, in order to experience God, we need to practice these three in equal proportion. Three equal parts forming a triangle of goodness, truth, and beauty.

Prayer: Dear Lord, you are good, you are true, and you are beautiful. All things that come from you are good, true, and beautiful, as well. May I experience you through all you are and all that you create. Amen.

Reflection: How is God good? True? Beautiful?

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