Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Updated: Saint Thomas Aquinas OP, Doctor of the Church, (c. 1225-74)

Biretta tip to S A Cotton who has sent this picture of the reliquary of Thomas Aquinas under the High Altar of the Church of Les Jacobins, Toulouse.
It must be with greatest joy that the Universal and Eternal Church smiles today as it celebrates one of its greatest sons, the Solomon of the new dispensation, the Angelic and Common Doctor – St Thomas Aquinas of the Order of Preachers.
Thomas Aquinas was consumed by love for Truth. His life of purity was thus lived as his mind was constantly seeking Truth and engaged in Its contemplation. At a late stage in his life he was granted a glimpse of this Truth and from then onwards he called all his fine work as “straw”.
Thomas lived all his life here on earth fascinated by Jesus the Way, the Truth and the Life in whom God disclosed Himself fully. With Paul he engaged with Jesus as the “Wisdom” of God by which he understands the knowledge of God. It is in this approach that Thomas brought the light of Christ to inform his whole context. Putting all things at the feet of Christ was Thomas’s driving force, he saw in Christ the understanding of God and also the key to understand what was around him. Christ enables us to transform our context in such a way that the Kingdom of the Father is brought forth in the here and now so that this life mirrors the one which is yet to come. Thomas understood that the best way that this happens is during the Holy Sacrifice during which “mens impletur gratia et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur” – the mind is filled with grace and we are given a pledge of the glory that is yet to come.
Today Thomas stands “In medio Ecclesiae” and opens again his lips to remind us that we need to understand who we are and what we do in the light of Christ the Truth and warns us about the real and present danger when some Christians try to fit Christ within the structures of this fleeting time. The powers to be at the time of Jesus wanted Christ to conform to their vision of reality, because he did not they nailed him to a cross and sealed him in a tomb, but Christ can not be part of structures of sin and so he has risen and shattered the grave and all that it stood for. Christ is to bring and make real God’s vision for us and not the other way round.
May Christians be inspired by Thomas, and aided by his prayers may they have a share in his humility and wisdom, that wisdom that allows Christ and Him alone to be the King of all ages, where what we say and do is done in the light of his teaching. This alone will bring to our own age the light of Mount Tabor, the ethic of the Mount of the Beatitudes, the love of Mount Golgotha and the freedom of the empty Tomb.

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