St. Thomas Aquinas
By universal consent, Thomas Aquinas is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and of divine revelation. He is one of the great teachers of the medieval Catholic Church, honored with the titles Doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor.
At five he was given to the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino in his parents' hopes that he would choose that way of life and eventually became abbot. In 1239 he was sent to Naples to complete his studies. It was here that he was first attracted to Aristotle's philosophy.
By 1243, Thomas abandoned his family's plans for him and joined the Dominicans, much to his mother's dismay. On her order, Thomas was captured by his brother and kept at home for over a year.
Once free, he went to Paris and then to Cologne, where he finished his studies with Albert the Great. He held two professorships at Paris, lived at the court of Pope Urban IV, directed the Dominican schools at Rome and Viterbo, combated adversaries of the mendicants, as well as the Averroists, and argued with some Franciscans about Aristotelianism.
His greatest contribution to the Catholic Church is his writings. The unity, harmony and continuity of faith and reason, of revealed and natural human knowledge, pervades his writings. One might expect Thomas, as a man of the gospel, to be an ardent defender of revealed truth. But he was broad enough, deep enough, to see the whole natural order as coming from God the Creator, and to see reason as a divine gift to be highly cherished.
The Summa Theologiae, his last and, unfortunately, uncompleted work, deals with the whole of Catholic theology. He stopped work on it after celebrating Mass on December 6, 1273. When asked why he stopped writing, he replied, "I cannot go on.... All that I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me." He died March 7, 1274.
We can look to Thomas Aquinas as a towering example of Catholicism in the sense of broadness, universality and inclusiveness. We should be determined anew to exercise the divine gift of reason in us, our power to know, learn and understand. At the same time we should thank God for the gift of his revelation, especially in Jesus Christ.
"Hence we must say that for the knowledge of any truth whatsoever man needs divine help, that the intellect may be moved by God to its act. But he does not need a new light added to his natural light, in order to know the truth in all things, but only in some that surpasses his natural knowledge" (Summa Theologiae, I-II, 109, 1).
Patron Saint of:
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me, creating me in his image and likeness, making me his temple....
Lord you gave me life and the gift of freedom.
How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted? I may be very much at peace, happy to be here. Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry. I acknowledge how I really am.
The Word of God
Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in you? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story you have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface of your consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to you?
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Rise up, you ancient portals. (Psalm 24:7)
The psalmist's imagery is simple: gate, an opening in a wall or a fence, for going in or out. Portal, a door. Lintel, the crosspiece above the door that carries the weight above the doorway. It is to all of these that the psalmist cries, "Open! Let the King of Glory come in!" Lift up the lintel. Make the doorway wider and taller. Reach up, higher, bigger. Make way for the Lord!
Who is this King of Glory? Every book of the Bible, every saint in history will tell you that he is powerful yet gentle, righteous and merciful, faithful and compassionate. This is the God who wants to come into your heart. This is the God who wants to work wonders in your life.
So open the door of your heart to the Lord! Make the doorway as wide and tall as you can. Be honest with yourself and the Lord about what's in your heart. Don't be afraid to look at it. God is stronger than anything that might be holding you back, keeping the doors closed. He loves you, and he will fight for you!
Opening the gate to your heart can be scary, especially if it's been closed a long time. So many things can be hidden in there: guilty secrets and shameful acts, wounds that still hurt, fears and memories that embarrass, obscure motivations stuffed so far back that you can scarcely name them. Everyone has them, these obstacles that clutter up the place where the Lord wants to dwell. But you have it in your power to open them up to him and let him clear them out!
Sit somewhere quiet today, and welcome the Lord. If you need to, ask him to excuse the mess. "There's a lot of stuff lying here between you and me, Lord." Think about what in your life might shut him out. "Forgive me, for I have sinned. Heal me, for I have been wounded." Then, ask him to help you to lift the lintel that bears the weight of your past so that you can make more room for him. You have only to sit with him and let him do the work. He is "the Lord, mighty in battle," and he will fight for you (Psalm 24:8).
"Lord, you are welcome. Come in today with all your power and strength and victory."
2 Samuel 6:12-15, 17-19; Mark 3:31-35
Thank you Jesus. I wrote a song one time about the time King David danced around, "like a fool", according to his wife. He danced in front of all, probably shirtless, and probably really silly looking as he danced out of sheer praise and joy. His wife looked down on him. He replied to her insults saying he would lower himself even more in her eyes and be someone in someone elses' eyes. I felt like a fool yesterday, just harking on a couple of brothers to join us again for cursillo friendship group. I have a way with words that comes off as aggressive, bear with me, I am working on it, pray for me! But, it took effect, they gave in "ok, come to our house". We went and had a most profound meeting and sharing of faith. I felt like a fool, always pleading and imploring for people to come to the Lord. Is this the will of God? I even tell them "I don't know why I keep bothering ya'll, it must be the Lord". I mean well, for the good of all. Another instance of aggressive talk was when a driver of ours came in yesterday. I said, "I'm disappointed in you...I would've thought you would have told all the other drivers to watch their loads, I just got off several calls of complaints". He said he DID tell them to watch their loads, but said he couldn't FORCE them to do it. What he didn't know, is that I meant he is more responsible because he is a responsible person and we acknowledge that, a really good worker. (I explained this to him later, after I realized he was upset with my approach). Do you see? In all the writings I mean well, even if they seem mean. Was it mean that Jesus didn't want to go to His own Mother and the "brothers" he was with earlier? I personally enjoyed the readings of today because they speak of the great joy David had and honor he had for the presence of the Lord. Those in the company of Jesus must have experienced the same great joy for He had chosen to remain with them above all, stating "these are my family...those who do My will". I go back: I told my cursillo brothers, "perhaps it is God's will", it is perhaps His persistent will that He persistently keep reaching out to each and every single one of us. Sometimes, in the strangest of ways, the meanest of ways even. I don't stand by tippy toeing while a soul is being taken. My hush leads them to hell in a rush. I know a couple weeks ago, I noticed someone hadn't been to church going on about 4 weeks, and next, she wanted out of the steps she was taking in faith. I reproached her, stating how she had backed out of our deal, and how she had only began the first steps in faith and was already backing away. Totally opposite of what David did in the first 6 steps. This is indeed all about the offering. It didn't set well with her, and thank God for our prayers, because since then, she has not stopped going to church...so far. You see, it is a constant battle versus evil. We are in the world, but not of the world. We are human, but carry the divine image of God inside. The Good news is, He is not giving up. The Good News is, we can give up...to Him! Do not give up ON Him. There is a difference in what was just said, and all the difference is in the will. How hard is it to live a life of disciplined prayer? How hard is it to take on seriously a ministry? We cry about how little people care or show up, yet we have barely lifted a finger, just texted, not really beat down any doors, not really broke open any hearts with prayers, fastings, sacrifices...all offerings. But Jesus did. He DID. This whole notion of TV is nonsense. So much evil is thrown through those false lights on the screen. It is fitting because Lucifer, Satan, is the prince of lights. St. Thomas today reminds us that we don't need these human lights, but only some to begin to see what is truly there. Jesus is among us. Especially with those doing HIS WILL
I Lower Myself To The King of Kings
As Our New Bishop Did Yesterday For Our Diocese