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Dr. Deal W. Hudson: A Parable About Beauty

By Deal W. Hudson
September 10th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Little did they know, their Christian friend had failed to give them the answer they needed to hear: "Look to Jesus Christ for he is all Truth, all Goodness, and all Beauty. In fact, the unity of all three in Jesus Christ creates a splendor that illumines the Truth and draws every person towards the Good."

WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - A man once asked a Christian friend where he could find the Truth. The friend replied without hesitation, "Look to Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life."

A woman once asked a Christian friend where she could find the Good. The friend quickly replied, "Look at the life of Jesus Christ who is the Word made flesh."

A young couple once asked a Christian friend where they could find Beauty. The friend hesitated to answer. Not knowing what to say, he said, "Well, I find the greatest beauty in nature and in the works of the great painters and composers."

The man and the woman went away satisfied and curious to learn more about Jesus Christ.

The couple went away dissatisfied because they already knew about beautiful paintings, beautiful music, and the beauty of nature. They wanted to know what was behind all the beauty they beheld.

Thinking that Christians could not help them answer their question, the couple asked other people who answered in a way similar to the Christian.  Everyone told them about about the things they considered beautiful, but no one talked about Beauty itself.

The couple became unhappy that they could not find an answer; they were desperate to find out why their lives were filled with joy when they encountered beautiful things. "Surely," they said to each other, "the power of these beautiful things must come from something beyond any one of them."

As time passed, the couple gradually found their enjoyment of beautiful things began to wane. The beauty of this painting or that piece of music only filled them with an unsatisfied longing. They started to avoid the beautiful things that once gave them joy, because now they felt only sadness.

Little did they know, their Christian friend had failed to give them the answer they needed to hear: "Look to Jesus Christ for he is all Truth, all Goodness, and all Beauty. In fact, the unity of all three in Jesus Christ creates a splendor that illumines the Truth and draws every person towards the Good."

The day when the couple asked the Christian their question, Jesus had not been allowed to answer.

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Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D, is president of the Pennsylvania Catholics Network and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine. He is the Senior Correspondent for Church and Culture and a contributing writer for Catholic Online. 

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