Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Angelic Doctor

Today is the feast of the great Dominican theologian St. Thomas Aquinas. He lived a relatively short time, from 1225 to 1274, but wrote extensively and is considered by many to be the greatest theologian of all time. Though he died on March 7 he is honored today because on this day in 1368 his relics were transferred from what is now Italy, where he died, to Toulouse, France.

Almost 300 years later, the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius Loyola, showed his appreciation for the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas by making him required reading.  The Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, in a section on the universities which the Jesuits would run for both the formation of its own members and for the education of lay people, state: "In theology there should be lectures on the Old and New Testaments and on the scholastic doctrine of St. Thomas" (#464). 

A book of prayers for Jesuits that Father John Hardon, S.J., edited and which was published by Loyola Press in 1963 contains seven entries for St. Thomas Aquinas.  Here is one of them:

For the Honor of Your Name

Merciful God, grant that I may eagerly desire, carefully search out, truthfully acknowledge, and ever perfectly fulfill all things which are pleasing to You. Order all my life for the glory and honor of Your name alone. Enlighten me to know what You want of me, and help me do it properly and with profit to my salvation. Grant that I may not fail or swerve either in prosperity or adversity; that I be not lifted up by the one, nor cast down by the other. Let me enjoy only what leads to You, and grieve only for what leads away from You; let me neither seek to please, nor fear to displease, any but You alone. May all transitory things grow vile in my eyes, O Lord, and may all that is Yours be dear to me for Your sake, and You, my God, dear above them all. May all joy be irksome to me that is without You, may all labor and toil delight me which is for You, and rest be weariness which is not in You. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment