Our Hearts' Longing
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."
Deep within each of us is the yearning for Truth, Goodness and Beauty. This is easily proved. We want Truth not just on Mondays but everyday. We want Truth without limit - not Truth mixed with falsehood. We long for Goodness, similarly: we want all good and no evil or sadness or sin to spoil our lives. And our desires and imaginations want all Beauty without limit. These three (Truth, Goodness and Beauty) never bore us, never let us down. Why? Because they are attributes of God. The proper object of the mind is truth; the proper object of the will is goodness; and the proper object of the heart is beauty. We are head, hands and heart - and we respond to God through these three characteristics found in the infinitely True, Good and Beautiful Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Of course the three theological virtues of Faith, Love and Hope relate to these too. To know Truth, we live by faith. To know goodness, we will to love the other as ourselves. And to know beauty, we hope - that the whole world will be transformed by glory ( where hope in the New Testament means a joy-filled confident expectancy based on the goodness of what God has promised). Beauty has the greater power over us. The only effective cure of any addiction is to know something more beautiful- or as Chalmers said “the expulsive power of a greater affection.” The only thing stronger than an evil passion is the surpassing beauty of a greater passion. CS Lewis called all Beauty “patches of God-light” in our dark world. Beauty (alone of the three) is irresistible. That’s why Dostoyevsky said it would save the world. When God asked Augustine what he wanted to know the saint replied, “Just two things: yourself and myself.” And Truth, Goodness and Beauty covers all the bases.