January 28, 2015

Thomas Aquinas

January 28, 2015:  St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor

  • 'Hand' tie pin:  “Sit at my right hand...” (psalm)
  • 'Star' tie pin:  “Before the daystar I begat you.” (psalm)
  • 'Precious feet' tie pin:  Seed on the footpath... (gospel)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  Seed on rocky ground... (gospel)
  • 'Roses' tie pin:  Seed among thorns... (gospel)
  • 'Fruit' tie:  Seed on rich soil produced fruit... (gospel)

From St. Thomas Aquinas
When Jesus taught us to call God our Father, he gave new depth and richness to fatherhood, but the relationship is in crisis now, clouded with uncertainty and confusion.
Without father figures, people often feel ‘orphaned’ and adrift; we need fathers as examples and guides in wisdom and virtue.  Fathers, be responsible!  Society is similarly responsible not to leave orphans, without ideals, values, hopes, and possibilities for work and spiritual fulfilment.  Jesus, you promised you wouldn't leave us orphans; deepen and renew our appreciation of fatherhood and raise up good fathers for the good of families, our Church, and our world.
    'Seeds' (animate)
  • Heb 10:11-18 Priests keep offering sacrifices that can't take away sins, but Jesus' offering made perfect forever those being consecrated.  The Spirit testifies to us, saying I'll put my laws in their hearts and minds and I'll remember their sin no more.  Where there's forgiveness, there's no longer a sin-offering.

  • Ps 110:1-4 "You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek."  “Yours is princely power, in holy splendor; before the daystar I've begotten you.”

  • Mk 4:1-20  Jesus taught the crowd:  “As a sower sowed, birds ate seed on the path,  seeds on rocky ground sprang up but were scorched, and seeds among thorns were choked, but the seed that fell on rich soil produced fruit up to a hundredfold.”  To the Twelve:  “The seed is the word.  The ones on the path are the ones Satan takes away, those on rocky ground receive the word with joy but don't last because they're rootless, and those among thorns are choked by anxiety, riches, or cravings, but those on rich soil accept the word and bear abundant fruit.”
St. Thomas Aquinas:  original works online
St. Thomas Aquinas:  quotations
  • Pain and sorrow are assuaged by sleep and baths. (ST I-II, 38a5)
  • A captain doesn't intend preservation of his ship as his last end, since a ship's end is navigation. [so go out] (ST I-II, 2a5)
    • Creighton:  We're at risk for choking God's word, treating it as background noise.  May we overcome obstacles to provide rich soil for God's word, as Thomas Aquinas did while discerning his Dominican vocation and his family tempted and imprisoned him
    • One Bread One Body:  "Sluggish or curious?":  Jesus wants us to ask questions, study, and probe till we understand our faith.  A parable is like a riddle; it makes hearers think, ponder, and reflect.  If hearers don't understand, they can dismiss it and become sluggish, or take it in and bear fruit....
    • Passionist:  St. Thomas Aquinas, great theologian and philosopher, is patron of all Catholic educational establishments [Is that why Catholic Schools Week is always this week?]  St. Thomas, give us wisdom and guidance from the Spirit who inspired you.
    • DailyScripture.net:  St. Cyril of Alexandria re purpose of Jesus' parables:  "Parables are word pictures of things of the mind and spirit.  They reveal to the mind's eye what our eyes can't see, informing the intellect through 'tangible' things the senses can perceive." (Commentary on Gospel of Luke 8.5.4, paraphrased)  Farmers know the importance of soil, food, water, and roots.  Fruit-bearing plant imagery conveys the principle of spiritual life and death.  God's word can be heard with prejudice by the closed-minded, without thought by the shallow, without attention by the preoccupied, or with understanding by the hungry and open-minded.
      Origen re why Jesus distinguishes those who are ready to understand from those who aren't:  "God, who knows all things before they come to be, delays the healing of some and defers their remedy, healing them by not healing them, lest premature recovery render them incurable.  This pertains to those our Lord addressed as 'outside,' whom he searches out.  He covered up mysteries of faith to those who not ready to receive his teaching straightforwardly; he wanted to prevent the unready from being speedily converted and cosmetically healed.  If their sins were too easily forgiven, they'd soon fall into the same sin... (On first principles 3.1.7, paraphrased)
      • Universalis:  St. Thomas Aquinas, Benedictine-educated, reconciled Christianity and Aristotle, wrote Summa Theologica and poetry for Corpus Christi liturgy.  After vision at Mass that made his writings seem like straw, he stopped.

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