The following (long) quote is from Janet Smith’s essay, Lying: a metaphysical question. She is setting the stage for her argument by explaining why Aquinas believed all false statements are lies.
“Natural things are said to be true in so far as they express the likeness of the species that are in the divine mind.” (ST I, 16:1) Every thing that exists in the world is said to be a “word” of God; it is an “expression” of what is in the divine mind. Insofar as things fulfill their nature they are “true” speech of God. When we are thinking about reality we are forming concepts in our minds of the “speech” that God has uttered. We need to conform our concepts as truly as we can to those realities that God has spoken. So when we speak, we are attempting to reproduce the concepts that initiated in God’s mind and were produced in the world. Our speech must be true to God’s “speech”. We should have in our minds the truth that God “spoke” and speak only that truth.
When I read this, something clicked for me about why (truly) Catholic artists (including writers) love concrete reality so much. Also, why so much writing by non-Catholic writers (Charles Portis, one of my current favorites, for one) is actually deeply Catholic. It’s because these works, by contacting reality, are in contact with “God’s speech”. It’s why even when the content treated is about people who do evil, it remains deeply Catholic so long as the evil is seen (ultimately) as evil, stupidity (ultimately) as stupidity, lies (ultimately) as lies, and so on.
It is probably not even correct to refer to this kind of art as Catholic. It’s just actual art. The Catholic imagination is the truly human imagination, that imagines concrete reality, that is an image of the mind of God.