The Greatest Kindness: A Reflection on St. Thomas Aquinas

The greatest kindness one can render to any man consists of leading him from error to truth.

St. Thomas Aquinas

As one of the greatest philosophers, theologians, and Doctors of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas had a gift of imparting God’s wisdom. Through teaching and writing, he discussed and defended the faith. His intelligence was literally incomprehensible, considering his mind operated on a higher level.

At first, other students called St. Thomas Aquinas a “dumb ox” because of his quiet temperament. As he joined the Dominican order around the 13th century, he studied, taught, and wrote about theology avidly. His numerous theology and philosophy books are still in print today, including On Law, Morality, and Politics, The Three Greatest Prayers, The Treatise on Human Nature, On Virtues, and more. As one of the greatest philosophers of the Church, he is still widely studied as theologians dedicate their lives to his work.

Interestingly, St. Thomas Aquinas’s last book, Summa Theologiae, which encompasses the entire Catholic theology, remains unfinished. “I cannot go on,” said Thomas Aquinas, “All that I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.”

The Lord has revealed so much wisdom and truth to St. Thomas Aquinas that even as a prolific writer, he could not adequately convey it. Although he wrote so many books about philosophy and theology, they didn’t scratch the surface the truth that God imparted on him. I can only imagine what the Lord must have shown him.

God has definitely blessed St. Thomas Aquinas with not only wisdom, but also the means to share that wisdom with others. Maybe he considered his work “straw” compared to what the Lord revealed to him, but St. Thomas Aquinas still helped readers and scholars deepen their faith by studying his theological writings. If he hadn’t shared the truth through his books, countless souls would be lost and deficient in truth. By sharing God’s profound truth that he was blessed to see a glimpse of, St. Thomas Aquinas rendered us the greatest kindness.

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Fr. Adam, the chaplain of SRU, is the biggest St. Thomas Aquinas fan I’ve ever met. He constantly reminds us of how much he loves St. Thomas Aquinas, often quoting him in his homilies. I’m asking for St. Thomas Aquinas’s intercession for Fr. Adam today because he spent several years studying him. If you know anyone with a strong devotion to St. Thomas Aquinas, send this blog to them and let them know you’re thinking and praying for them today.

St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.

Stay radiant!

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