January 28, 2011
Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, P.D.
Wisdom 7: 7-10, 15, 17
Matthew 23: 8-12
I prayed, and prudence was given me;
I pleaded, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepter and throne,
And deemed riches nothing in comparison with her;
Because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand,
And before her, silver is to be accounted mire…
These words from the Book of Wisdom could very easily be placed on the lips of the Doctor Angelieus, Saint Thomas Aquinas, who’s Feast we celebrate today. He devoted his entire life as a Dominican Priest to Prayer, Study and Teaching. Among his multiple works are the well-known Summa Contra Gentiles, Summa Theologica and several hymns and prayers for both the Mass and Office of corpus Christi: Pange Lingua, Adoro Te, Devote and Lauda Sion.
Saint Thomas, contrary to the will of some members of the family, entered the Dominican Order (The Order of Preachers) and was ordained a Priest in 1250. He was a student of the Master, Albertus Magnus, and was assigned by his superiors to teach at a number of universities: Naples, Paris, Cologne and Rome.
Pope Gregory the Tenth appointed Thomas as Papal Delegate to the General Council of Lyons but he died en route at the Cistercian Abbey of Fossa Nuova on 7 March 1275 at the age of 50. As he lay dying, Thomas said: “I leave all of my writings to the judgment and wisdom of the Church. She alone has the authority to determine their value.”
This final act of humety humility was characteristic of Thomas. His life of prayer, study and teaching has but one purpose: to know and to love the truth incarnate in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth.
May we who are privileged to study his writings come to imitate his spirit of humility and simplicity and, with Saint Thomas, seek to know, to love and to serve Christ always.