It has been written that Truth, Beauty and Love are the celestial triumvirate that surrounds the throne of God. This poetic imagery prompts this novel (for me at least) reflection.
According to a catechetical definition, God is infinite knowledge, infinite power and infinite love. One might say that Truth, Beauty and Love are three infinite manifestations of God. But, how can this be? How can there be three co-existing infinities? This is a mystery. Christians should not find this difficult to accept since in some way it reflects the mystery of the Blessed Trinity: three infinite Persons in one God.
However, I would posit that, although infinite, Truth and Beauty are in some way subordinate to Love. In a certain sense Truth and Beauty are functions of Love to which they necessarily relate. Were there no Love, there would be neither role nor relevancy for either of them.
Beauty, authentically pursued, leads us to a deeper understanding of Truth. Sensitive people who respond to the presence of Beauty recognize a power outside of themselves. This recognition which they come to understand is shared by others is a step toward the discovery of Truth. And Truth, sincerely pursued, leads us to the awareness of Love as the ultimate reality. Isn’t this the Gospel message?
This celestial triumvirate is itself a trinity. As is the case with the Blessed Trinity, one infinite reality, Love, begets another, Truth, and from the two of them proceeds the third, Beauty.
Somewhere in the mist of this mystery, there glimmers an inkling of the world’s future – that is the future of men and women of all faiths who seek deeper understanding of the ineffable gift of life. In our exploration of Beauty, we will, all of us, draw closer in the knowledge of Truth which itself unveils the light of Divine Love.
Then our differences, religious and otherwise, will be seen in a very different light.
Dana Robinson is chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Catholic Community Foundation.