Iowa Catholic Men's Conference

Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in Evangelization

Giants of our Catholic faith and Christian tradition, have pointed us towards “transcendentals” such as beauty, goodness, and truth. They guide us in our journey to God. What is beautiful about the world, faith, and our understanding of God is something we feel personally, which leads to the good we wish for, and brings us to the truth for which our soul longs.

Different theologians may place “truth” as the first thing, as truth unveils that which is beautiful and good from some false substitute. I see the wisdom of this thinking. In evangelization of the Gospel, to the unconvinced person, we may be better to lead with the beautiful, (although we are aware of the truth that underscores the beauty) so¬† as to engage¬† the imagination of those we wish to reach. The great cathedrals, art, music and wonders of the natural world are a unifying point of reference for the believer and non-believer.

In Genesis, God created the physical world and stated that they were “good”. The “goodness” of something is given by God and so must be the truth. The beauty of our faith and the Church are from God, instituted through Christ Jesus, who directs us back to the Father, who is Truth, Goodness, and Beautiful.

So, I suggest we speak of the beauty of God and his created world, leading others to it, which with God’s grace reveals that it is true and good, as well as beautiful.