Thomas Aquinas

JESUS: The Foolishness Of God, by Thomas Aquinas

October 4, 2016

The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom. (1 Corinthians 1:25) Christ chose to have parents who were poor but perfect in virtue, lest anyone should glory in his noble lineage and the riches of his parents. He lived a life of poverty to teach others to spurn riches. He lived an ordinary life having no high position to recall others from an inordinate greed for honors. He endured labor, hunger, thirst, and bodily scourging, lest those who are intent on bodily pleasures and delights draw back from the good of virtue because of the rigors of such a life. In the end Christ endured death that others might not abandon the truth for fear of death. And lest anyone should fear to undergo a shameful death for the truth, he himself chose the [...]

PRAYER: Prayer For The Attainment Of Heaven, by Thomas Aquinas

July 4, 2016

O God of all consolation, you who see in us nothing but your own gifts, I entreat you to give me, at the close of this life, knowledge of the First Truth, and enjoyment of your divine majesty. Most generous Rewarder, give to my body also the beauty of lightsomeness, responsiveness of flesh to spirit, a quick readiness and delicacy, and the gift of unconquerable strength. And add to these an overflow of riches, a spate of delights, a confluence of all good things, so that I may rejoice in your consolation above me, in a place of loveliness below me, in the glorification of body and soul within me, in the delight of friends and angels all around me. Most merciful Father, being with you may my mind attain the enlightenment of wisdom, my [...]

PRAYER: Devoutly I Adore You, Hidden Diety by Thomas Aquinas

January 28, 2016

Devoutly I adore you, hidden Deity, Under these appearances concealed. To you my heart surrenders self For, seeing you, all else must yield. Sight and touch and taste here fail; Hearing only can be believed. I trust what God’s own Son has said. Truth from truth is best received. Divinity, on the cross, was hid; Humanity here comes not to thought. Believing and confessing both, I seek out what the Good Thief sought. I see no wounds, as Thomas did, But I profess you God above. Draw me deeply into faith, Into your hope, into your love. O memorial of the Lord’s sad death, Show life to man, O living Bread. Grant that my soul may live through you, By your sweet savor ever fed. Jesus Lord, my Pelican devout, With your blood my sins [...]

JESUS: The Resurrection Of The Flesh, by Thomas Aquinas

May 21, 2015

The Holy Spirit not only sanctifies the church with regard to its soul, but by its power our bodies will arise: “to those believing in him who raised up Jesus Christ Our Lord from the dead” and so forth, (Romans 4:24). And “Because just as through a human being death came about, so through a human being the resurrection from the dead,” (1 Corinthians15:21). Therefore we believe according to our faith in the future resurrection of the dead. About this resurrection there are four thoughts that should be considered: (1) the usefulness that comes from faith in the resurrection; (2) the quality of life of those who arise with regard to everyone in general; (3) with regard to good men and women in particular; and (4) with regard to evil [...]

SERMON: On The Apostles’ Creed, by Thomas Aquinas

October 19, 2014

He descended into hell. As we say, the death of Christ lies in the separation of the soul from the body, just as in the death of other human beings.  But, the divinity was so indissolubly united to the humanity of Christ that, although body and soul were separated from each other, nonetheless the very divinity was always perfectly present both to the soul and the body.  Therefore, the Son of God was both in the tomb with the body and descended into hell with the soul.  And thus the holy apostles said: “he descended into hell.” There are four reasons why Christ as a soul descended into hell.  (1) To shoulder the full punishment of sin, and so expiate all of its guilt.  The punishment of sin for humanity, however, was not [...]

PRAYER: For The Forgiveness Of Sins, by Thomas Aquinas

September 1, 2014

To You, O God, Fountain of Mercy, I come, a sinner. May You wash away my impurity. O Sun of Justice, give sight to the blind. O Eternal Healer, cure the wounded. O King of Kings, restore the despoiled. O Mediator of God and man, reconcile the sinful. O Good Shepherd, lead back the straying. O God, have pity on the wretched, show leniency to the guilty, bestow life on the dead, reform the impious, and give the balm of grace to the hard of heart. O most merciful God, call back the one who flees, draw back the one who resists, lift up the one who falls, support the one who stands, and accompany the one who walks. Do not forget those who forget You. Do not desert those who desert You. Do not despise those who sin against You. For in sinning, [...]

SACRAMENTS: God’s Sacramental Starting Point by Ernest J. Fiedler & R. Benjamin Garrison

August 7, 2014

From The Sacraments: An Experiment in Ecumenical Honesty The mysterious prologue to John’s account of the life of Jesus from its outset directs attention to what might be called God’s sacramental starting point.  Commentators have long noted that John’s Gospel begins with an effort to hinge the whole account of Christ’s Earthly life and mission on its eternal pre-creation essence.  In his brief collection of words, John would have us consider, as far as we are able, Christ’s life in the essence he already and always shared with the Father and the Spirit: In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, [...]

POETRY: The Eucharistic Hymns Of Thomas Aquinas

February 26, 2014

Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium Tell, tongue, the mystery of the glorious Body and of the precious Blood, which, for the price of the world, the fruit of a noble Womb, the King of the Nations poured forth. Given to us, born for us, from the untouched Virgin, and dwelt in the world after the seed of the Word had been scattered. His inhabiting ended the delays with wonderful order. On the night of the Last Supper, reclining with His brethren, once the Law had been fully observed with the prescribed foods, as food to the crowd of Twelve He gives Himself with His hands. The Word as Flesh makes true bread into flesh by a word and the wine becomes the Blood of Christ. And if sense is deficient to strengthen a sincere heart Faith alone [...]

HOLY COMMUNION: The Eucharistic Miracle, by Garry Wills

February 25, 2014

From Why Priests? The priest is made powerful because of the Eucharist.  That explains him.  It is what he does, what makes him what he is.  No one else can do this – consecrate the Eucharist.  But what exactly is the Eucharist?  The miracle of changing bread to Jesus is so staggering that many people through the ages have felt they had to explain it, or show its importance, with secondary miracles – like seeing the Host bleed, or an image of Jesus on or above the Host or in the chalice.  In legend after legend, people gave the Host visible powers (like levitation).  The validity of such Eucharistic miracles was endorsed by theologians during the eleventh-century controversy over the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. [...]

POETRY: Thomas Merton — An Array Of Saints

February 7, 2014

St. Agnes: A Responsory Cujur pulchritudinem Sol et luna mirantur. . . Hear with joy this child of God Plays in the perfect garden of her martyrdom, Ipsi soli servo fidem. Spending the silver of her little life To bring her Bridegroom these bright flowers Of which her arms are full. Cujus pulchritudinem. . . With what white smiles She buys the Popes their palliums, And lavishes upon our souls the lambs of her confession! Sol et luna mirantur, Ipsi soli servo fidem. Her virtues, with their simple strings, Play to the Lover hidden in the universe, Cujus pulchritudinem. . . Who smiles into the sun His looking-glass, And fills it with his glorious face: Who utters the round moon’s recurring O And drowns our dusks in peace. Ipsi soli [...]

VIRTUES: What Is Christian Virtue?, by Romanus Cessario, O.P.

September 17, 2013

From The Virtues, Or The Examined Life We know that Aquinas in the Summa theologiae begins his analysis of virtue with the standard textbook definition of virtue that was common among 13th-century moralists: “Virtue is a good quality of mind, by which one lives righteously, of which no one can make bad use, which God works in us without us.”  Following normal procedure, we can consider each element of the definition as Aquinas explains it within his general teleological view of the moral life.  First, the formal cause: “Virtue is a good quality of mind.”  For Aquinas, virtue belongs to the generic category of quality; more specifically he places it within that kind of quality that Aristotle called habitus.  As a philosophical [...]

PRAYER: To Acquire The Virtues, by Thomas Aquinas

September 16, 2013

O God, all-powerful and all-knowing, without beginning and without end, You Who are the source, the sustainer, and the rewarder of all virtues, Grant that I may abide on the firm ground of faith, be sheltered by an impregnable shield of hope, and be adorned in the bridal garment of charity. Grant that I may through justice be subject to You, through prudence avoid the beguilements of the devil, through temperance exercise restraint, and through fortitude endure adversity with patience. Grant that whatever good things I have, I may share generously with those who have not and that whatever good things I do not have, I may request humbly from those who do. Grant that I may judge rightly the evil of the wrongs I have done and bear calmly the [...]

POETRY: Thomas Aquinas—Five Poems

January 30, 2013

On Behalf of Love Every truth without exception—no matter who makes it—is from God. If a bird got accused of singing too early in the morning, if a lute began to magically play on its own in the square and the enchanting sounds it made drove a pair of young lovers into a wild, public display of passion, if this lute and bird then got called before the inquisition and their lives were literally at stake, could not God walk up and say before the court, “All acts of beauty are mine, all happen on the behalf of love”? And while God was there, testifying for our heart’s desires, hopefully the judge would be astute enough to brave a question, that could go, “Dear God, you say all acts of beauty are yours, surely we [...]

SATURDAY READING: Saint Thomas Aquinas — Nuns, Prophecies, Communists, the Bomb, the Dread of Angels, Reason, Faith, and the Summa Theologica

January 26, 2013

Written by Richard Bausch We proceed thus to the first article: It seems that the existence of God is self-evident. . . . Since Time is a human invention, and since the psyche knows nothing of it, really, I am always at least partly living in the presence, among all the other presences, of two separate days, both sunny and cool, both taking place in late March, at the tag end of winter, when the ground is still mostly gray or winter brown, but when some early blossoms are out, and the air has that fresh, earthy new-grass fragrance of spring. The first of these days is in 1959.  A Saturday morning.  I’m sitting in a CCD class — Confraternity of Christian Doctrine — for Catholic children who attend public schools.  There’s a wall [...]