January 6, 2015

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Feast Day - January 28

Many have argued that Aquinas had the greatest intellect Christendom has ever known, and others have said that he is the greatest theologian and philosopher of all time. After reviewing 4 books on him, my favorite quote that helps illustrate the magnitude of his genius was that: 'Thomas could've run circles around Einstein, Newton, or Stephen Hawking.'

He is one of 35 Doctors of the Church, and his prolific writings are still studied and cited regularly, now 800 years later. In fact, much of my required course reading in the seminary, liturgical hymns, and Christian prayers came from him. The unity, harmony and continuity of faith and reason, of revealed and natural human knowledge, pervade his writings.

Thomas is often depicted in images with a church, scripture, and a Eucharistic near his heart. Many of the Eucharistic Hymns we sing at Mass come from Aquinas, while his explanations of Sacred Scripture are the basis for many other scholars, and his theology is essential for the formation of priests today.

Here’s my favorite Eucharistic hymn by Aquinas: