Thursday, January 28, 2010
Few people are unfamiliar with Thomas Aquinas. He was a man of great faith and learning and his teachings on spirituality, specifically, look at some central parts of doctrine in a new light. Thomas was not immediately famous for his learning, however. By humbling himself in contemplation he raised his writings to the height of the spiritual sphere, and his wisdom came from the Fount of All Wisdom. As my pastor put it this morning, we are called to share the fruits of contemplation with others. Thomas, by spending hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, was filled with the light of the Holy Spirit, which later radiated through his writings.
However, Thomas' humility was not hindered by his amazing perception and understanding. He thought of himself as a "Dumb Ox" and looked at his powerful writings as bits of straw in comparison with the Divinity. Truly, this realization is what made this man so great. He obviously perceived the Mystery, he perceived what he didn't know. Only by perceiving our smallness can we speak of greatness. So severely did he consider himself below writing about the Divinity, that he once banged his head on the Tabernacle and cried out "Lord, help me!" There is no greater wisdom than that which emits humility.
Thomas' faith and love of Christ Jesus were so strong that they became the base and the purpose of his wisdom. His contemplative heart and faith allowed him to consider faith and reason side by side in a way blessed by God. He is a perfect example of one who is first holy himself, and then helps his fellow man. His brilliant mind put into words the gifts of wisdom obtained in contemplation. In his world renowned writings he solved misunderstandings of the Faith by combining his deep faith with a mature reason and understanding. His words “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” show us how deeply he understood human nature, the Mystery, and the need for faith.