Fr. Jim Dugan, SJ
Fr. Jim Dugan, S.J.
Associate Campus Minister
As children many of us learned the ditty: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. 'Til your good is better and your better is best.” As a grown man and Jesuit I learned that this simple poem, attributed to the early Christian Doctor of the Church St. Jerome, is an expression of a great truth, the truth of the magis.
This truth, the magis, reveals our progress in life from the “good” to the “best.” This, as we know, is a lifelong journey. The crux and link between the “good” and the “best” is the magis or the “better,” the “more.” It is the magis which continues to inspire and motivate me to reach beyond what may be the good, moral, noble, worthy, and virtuous.
The better is the principle of development and growth. Our desire to go beyond where we are now and to seek that which is higher…is the “better.” The “best” is the ultimate, the highest point of excellence or achievement: the ne plus ultra, the ultimate, the acme. There can be no “best” without the “better.” Once we are “good” we will want to be “better.” If our work is “good,” we know we can do “better.” It is only by being “better,” by doing that which is “better,” that we can ultimately come to the “best.”
The magis for me as a man, a Christian, a Catholic is the only way to fully live out my calling and life in this world, believing and knowing that this is “the way, the truth, and the life.”