Saint Thomas Aquinas in prayerToday, the Church and the Dominican Order celebrates the feast of our brother Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). Saint Thomas hardly needs any introduction to readers but it is worth recalling that he was one of a large family who were of noble stock. His family initially opposed his desire to join the newly founded Order of Preachers (Dominicans). When he did eventually enter the Order he spent time in the universities of Paris and Cologne. He became a Master of Theology in 1257.
It is clear that as a Dominican he was acutely aware of his responsibilities as both a Friar Preacher and a theologian. He believed that he was called to preach the Gospel by explaining the truths of revelation contained in the Scriptures and the teachings of the church with the help of the insights of the philosophy of Aristotle. In his teaching and writing Thomas sought to show that human life is the search to know experientially the God of of infinite wisdom and love, who creates, sanctifies, and ultimately brings to fulfillment the whole of created reality in and through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is truly God and truly human.
Many people say that Saint Thomas was a genius. While that may be true, far more important was the fact that he was wise. Dominicans today continue to be influenced by his thought and wisdom - and are also captured by his example that instills a lifelong love of learning in the search for God. For those interested in the Order and who might feel they have a vocation to follow Saint Thomas as a Dominican friar could ask through his intercession to be brought to grow in wisdom.