Tuesday, January 28, 2014
St. Thomas Aquinas: Daily Mass Homily--Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 (Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas)
There was a lot of excitement in the church this morning. Towards the end of our individual prayer times, Fr. Rich and I realized we both thought we had Mass. As we both love St. Thomas Aquinas it almost came to blows—and after he ran to his office he realized I was indeed on the schedule.
Speaking of Fr. Rich—he has gotten the best of me ice skating and in our fundraising competitions. But I’m pretty sure I have him in one area [pulling out the five volumes of St. Thomas’ Summa Theologica]. Fr. Rich, have you read the entirety of this work? “Nope.” Well there you go, I have!
With this in mind, I want to quote the introduction from St. Thomas’ Summa: “Because the doctor of Catholic truth ought not only to teach the proficient, but also to instruct beginners…we purpose in this book to treat of whatever belongs to the Christian religion, in such a way as may tend to the instruction of beginners.” Fr. Rich, I don’t know what this says if you haven’t even read these five volumes for beginners.
This shows just how bright St. Thomas was. This five-volume work he considered for beginners. The Summa was this most brilliant man’s crowning achievement. And he did treat of almost anything you can think of in our faith—sacraments, angels, morality, anthropology, philosophy, etc. But this was only one of his vast library-of-books he wrote. He was so smart he often wrote four or five works at the same time. He would dictate to one recorder a section, then move to the next, and the next, and the next, then start again with the first.
Yet despite his obvious intellectual excellence, St. Thomas said he grew closer to God through prayer than learning. He lived out Jesus’ declaration: “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
Two inspiring stories are told of St. Thomas’ mystical prayer experiences. In one he had a vision of God that stopped him in his tracks. Having written a ton, he said, “All I have written is straw.”
In another, Christ spoke to Thomas through a corpus on the cross. The Lord said, “Thomas, you have written well of me. What reward will you have?” Thomas’ request: “Lord, nothing but yourself.”
As we seek to live as brothers and sisters and mothers of Christ, may we, like St. Thomas, desire nothing but Himself.