Fr. John P. Cush: Goodness, Like Truth and Beauty, is a Powerful Thing

Fr. John Horgan: What Are the Nine Choirs of Angels?
August 30, 2019
Daily Reading & Meditation: Saturday (August 31)
August 31, 2019

William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905), “Virgin and Lamb”

Clearly, goodness, like beauty, is a powerful tool for the evangelization of the world.

By Father John P. Cush, EWTN News, 8/29/19

Interpreting transcripts is a special skill that I have picked up over my years as the academic dean of the seminary division of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy. It can sound mind-numbing, but, in fact, it is often like solving a mystery!

From attempting to understand the difference between an American grading system (i.e., A, B, C, etc.) and an Australian one (“D” and “HD” which, incidentally, means “Distinction” and “High Distinction”) to figuring out if the history of philosophy covered in three semesters instead of the usual four is sufficient, my spring semester and part of the late summer is spent pouring carefully over grades and transcripts of potential seminarians. At the end of the day, my eyes are strained, my academic evaluation is complete, but in some cases, the mystery is only beginning!

Course titles can be the bane of my existence at this time of the year. For every straightforward title like “Introduction to Metaphysics,” I can receive a transcript which reads that the student has taken “God, the Universe, and Everything,” which, to me, sounds like a Douglas Adams’ novel. (By the way, “God, the Universe, and Everything” IS a class in metaphysics!) One course title really stood out recently and it took me a while to figure out what the content of the class actually was. It was titled “Living the Good Life.” Before reading the actual course description, I thought it was a class on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with Robin Leach!” In fact, it was a class on ethics.

“Living the Good Life” is not just meant for this world — no, it is meant for us to live a life of goodness so we can be with the Lord in the next. So, a question then: What does “goodness” mean, especially in light of the transcendentals? How can goodness, as a transcendental, be used to assist in evangelization, especially in light of what one of the Church’s primary evangelists, Bishop Robert E. Barron, has to say about it? ….