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By Richard Rohr

"Franciscan John Duns Scotus (1266-1308) said that when the one, and the true, and the good are operating in harmony, that is beauty! Beauty is the harmony between unity, truth, and goodness. When you can see all three, or even one, you will always be expanded and delighted. Whenever naked Being, which is always one, truth itself, and always good, shows itself, I will have the ability to see there’s something beautiful about it too, even though it might be broken, or poor, or sad, or suffering. It creates a positive foundation for all of creation and humanity, a basis for cosmic hope, and a prediction of our final goal. Alpha and Omega must somehow match! That Omega Point of history is called by Christians “Resurrection.”

"Scotus was merely making a grounding philosophy out of Jesus’ and Francis’ own love of lepers, the marginalized, and the poor—whom they both found “beautiful”! Beauty was not first of all an aesthetic concept but a fully ethical concept. Beauty is what we experience whenever the harmony of goodness, truth, and integrity show themselves, despite any contrary evidence (which is always there!)."

Adapted from an unpublished talk at a conference in Assisi, Italy, May 2012 


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