Readings for St Thomas Aquinas: 28 January
“Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.” (Wisdom of Solomon 7:7 – 8)
Today we remember St Thomas Aquinas who, perhaps like Solomon, preferred understanding beyond anything else.
“Thomas asserted that reason and revelation are in basic harmony. “Grace” (revelation), he said, “is not the denial of nature” (reason), “but the perfection of it.” This synthesis Thomas accomplished in his greatest works, the Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles, which even today continue to exercise profound influence on Christian thought and philosophy. He was considered a bold thinker, even a “radical,” and certain aspects of his thought were condemned by the ecclesiastical authorities. His canonization on July 18, 1323, vindicated him.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for January 28)
I glean from this that Grace is to mean revelation, and nature is to mean reason. For me this means that we accept what God blesses us with, (Grace) and let it undergird what we can learn (reason).
“Thomas understood God’s disclosure of his Name, in Exodus 3:14, “I Am Who I Am,” to mean that God is Being, the Ultimate Reality from which everything else derives its being. The difference between God and the world is that God’s essence is to exist, whereas all other beings derive their being from him by the act of creation.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for January 28)
While in seminary and listening to a lecture on St Thomas Aquinas, I drew close to our professor after the lecture to hear what a few other students were going to ask. I didn’t figure I was the brightest bulb in the cluster but I was at least smart enough to know that if I got close enough to hear what they were asking, that I might learn something. I heard our professor say that although Thomas wrote volumes of books and was very smart, one little glimmer of Grace (Revelation) from God (I Am) will be more enlightening than all of Thomas Aquinas’ works. I have not worried about how smart I am since then. Thank You Lord Jesus
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John