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St. Thomas Aquinas

I get a chuckle when I see St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica and realize it was originally intended as introductory material before students would take his class.  To say the world has changed some since then would be a drastic understatement.  The breadth and depth of the works of the Angelic Doctor are, I would argue, unsurpassed in Christendom.  Many have heard the proclamation St. Albert the Great made of this Doctor of the Church early on in his life: “We call this young man a dumb ox, but his bellowing in doctrine will one day resound throughout the world.”  (As an aside, this should provide comfort to all those chided by classmates for being different – St. Thomas was quite different, but in a way that came to bring great glory to God.)

Yet, for me, the quote from his life that most resounds is one that comes near the end of that most distinguished life.  After being granted a mystical vision while celebrating Holy Mass, Thomas demurred from picking up writing again saying:  “The end of all my labors has come. All that I have written appears to me as much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.”  For a man who created such masterful works, who opened to the world such a deep understanding of God and His workings, to have said such about his entire corpus of works after seeing what awaits us …  It gives great hope even in days that are as dreary and in many ways as intellectually dark as those in which we now live.  I hope one day to contribute even just one slender sliver of straw in comparison to the great works of this man of God.

St. Thomas Aquinas, patron of Catholic universities, pray for our educators that they may ever be strengthened to provide truly Catholic education.  Patron of students, pray for those in studies that their work may bless them with deeper understanding of the glories of You and Your creation.  Patron of (and this is a new one to me) chastity, pray for those tempted in any way by the great Enemy of souls to sway from the path of chastity and purity that they may always remember their bodies and minds are a temple for the Lord.

In honor of my good plurk friend Adoro I offer this hymn penned by St. Thomas himself:

And my own personal favorite of his creations, which ought to take those of us from the US back to some very happy days:

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