Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, March 7th

(Repost from 2011)

There is a story of St. Thomas Aquinas that good Father J. related in his sermon yesterday (a year ago).  It seems that our St. Thomas was often so rapt in contemplation of higher things that he seemed unfocused on the world around him.  In an effort to shake him out of his reverie one time, his fellow monks, laughing and smirking amongst themselves, cried, “Look! Out the window! There is a flying cow!” Well, St. Thomas startled, got up from his chair and went to the window to look -- which made the tricksters all burst into laughter.  But, St. Thomas stopped that mid-chuckle when he instantly replied, “I would rather believe in a flying cow than a lying monk!”
Picture Source

St. Thomas, one of only thirty-three Doctors of the Church, was one of the greatest philosophers to walk the earth, but he was a man of sweetest simplicity and goodness. It is said his final Confession was like that of a five-year-old, its nature was so innocent and simple.  G. K. Chesterton wrote, “There is not a single occasion on which he indulged in a sneer. His curiously simple character, his lucid but laborious intellect, could not be better summed up than by saying he did not know how to sneer.”
How can we help but marvel at the soaring intellect of this man?  It would seem that his highest honor was to be proclaimed a Doctor of the Church.  But, I think that in Heaven, his greatest achievement had nothing to do with his intelligence or his writings; it's his great charity that sets him apart.  In his Epistle in yesterday's Mass, the day before the feast of St. Thomas, St. Paul laid our spritiual priorities out very clearly: And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.

 The way Father explained this made so much sense I wanted to share it.  He said that, in heaven, we no longer require faith because we see God, face to face; all that we have believed in our lifetime is right there for us to see ourselves; we no longer need hope because that hope for heaven has been achieved; but the charity we have practiced during our lifetime remains there in our souls.  We take it to heaven with us.

So, the fruit of St. Thomas' writings benefit the world until the end of time, but it is his charity on earth that he wears as a crown in eternity.
St. Thomas, patron of Catholic Schools, please pray for the children and teachers of all our Catholic schools.  As you intercede for their progress in their studies, bless them all the more with the example of your holy charity. Help me, too, to imitate your goodness and humility, to do all that I do toward the greater honor and glory of God, and to grow in the practice of charity.  Amen.

  If I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Happy nameday to all the Thomases out there -- and a special greeting to all Catholic School Teachers!
And happy nameday William Thomas!
Here's a coloring page for the day.  Just click and print!
And here is Tantum Ergo Sacramentum, Gregorian Chant style.  Did you know that it was written by St. Thomas?


Jenny said...

Thanks for the stories you shared about St Thomas and snippets of your priest's words. I always ssay to my kids, who needs superheroes, we have saints!

GrandmaK said...

My brother, Tom, born on 3/4/1953 was named after St. Thomas. So sad that more children today have not been given the name of a saint to model. Wonderful post! Thank you!! Cathy