What is the role of beauty in Catholic spirituality? How are truth and goodness related?
The Greek philosophers understood that the three transcendentals — truth, beauty, and goodness — were “convertible.” That means, where you find one, you find the other. When we find truth, we see goodness and beauty, too. And when we see beauty, we see truth and goodness, as well.
Learning the meaning of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness for Catholics is essential for understanding and living our faith. If we focus too heavily on any of these, we distort each of them. If we oppose these concepts — that is, if we pit truth against beauty, or goodness against truth — we do violence to all three of them.
As we come to understand the unity of truth, beauty, and goodness, we will come to understand God better. He himself is the fullest unity of each of these concepts — as we see the unity, we begin to see God. We learn to find goodness where we find beauty; we learn to find beauty where we find truth — and in each of these cases, to find God Himself.
Participants in the second annual Philadelphia Catholic Scholars Program will ask the most important questions about an integrated faith life, even as they come to better understand a Catholic aesthetic and how beauty can enrich their lives.
While living in seminary dorms and praying together morning and night, PCSP students will attend daily, discussion-based seminars led by seminary and university professors. These guides and fellow pilgrims will join enthusiastic young men on a spiritual and intellectual adventure seeking to know and love God better, to understand the great ideas of our tradition.
We will find, in these two weeks, that a Catholic aesthetic enriches our lives, draws us to God, and makes the faith more compelling — both for oneself and to onlookers. All Catholics have an evangelical vocation. Knowing our faith and living it beautifully is itself an evangelical witness. The PCSP helps cultivate young men into Catholics “fully alive,” burning witnesses of the love of God.
Pursuing “fully alive Catholics,” the PCSP engages the whole person. Our formation of the intellect through study, argument, and writing will be complemented with a rich participation in the prayer life of the Church — daily Mass in the morning and evening prayer before bed each night. And more than just minds and souls, we are also embodied and social creatures. Our discussions themselves will be enriched as friendships are enhanced during recreation, playing soccer, frisbee, football, and so on.
As one 2018 participant told us last year, “It only takes two weeks to make brothers.” Join the PCSP to find brothers in Christ and discover the depths of your faith!