Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nuggets of Wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas

My little collection. I published it here on January 28, 2011 in the Philippines, on the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of the University of Santo Tomas, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year on April 28. This is dedicated to my friends who are from this royal and pontifical university, the first university in Asia.

The Catholic Church considers St. Thomas as its universal doctor, which means that he is a teacher for everything and everywhere and all times, because his powerful mind, like that of angel, has clearly seen the truth of things and passed them on so generously to us all.

Practical points

• It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.
• Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.
• To live well is to work well, to show a good activity.
• If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.

Friendship, happiness and music
• There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.
• Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.
• Not every love that has the character of friendship, but only the love which includes benevolence, by which we love someone so as to will some good for him.
• Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained by man's own will.
• Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures.
• How can we live in harmony? First we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God.
• Music is the exaltation of the mind derived from things eternal, bursting forth in sound.

Living life
• The things that we love tell us what we are.
• The human will can be protected from sin only when the reason is preserved from ignorance and error.
• In the physical life, one who is sick and does not take medicine, dies. So in the spiritual order, one becomes sick because of sin. Thus, medicine is necessary for recovery of health. This is the grace which is given in the Sacrament of Penance.
• Men could not live with one another if there were not mutual confidence that they were being truthful to one another.
• The highest manifestation of life consists in this: that a being governs its own actions. A thing which is always subject to the direction of another is somewhat of a dead thing.
• An evil action cannot be justified by reference to a good intention.
• It belongs to the perfection of moral or human good, that the passions should be controlled by reason.
• When the devil is called the god of this world, it's not because he made it, but because we serve him with our worldliness.
• To convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them.
• Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

Love and faith
• To love is to will the good of another.
• Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened his hand.
• The goal of human existence is union and eternal fellowship with God.
• God alone satisfies.
• To love God is something greater than to know Him.
• Faith is a foretaste of the knowledge that will make us blessed in the life to come.
• Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.
• What does it take to become a saint? Will it.
• The more perfect action causes more perfect pleasure.
• The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.
• The discipline and moderation of the miser, which restrain the desire for intemperance because it may cost money, are not true virtue…There can be no true virtue without charity.

Jesus Christ and his Church

• Every action of Christ contains a lesson for us.
• Nothing is truer than the word of Truth.
• The Lord's Prayer [the Our Father] is the most perfect of prayers. . . . In it we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them.
• There is but one Church in which men find salvation, just as outside the ark of Noah it was not possible for anyone to be saved.
• The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her; in fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing.
• God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good.
• Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches.
• The angels work together for the benefit of us all .
• The effect proper to this Sacrament [of the Eucharist] is the conversion of a man into Christ, so that he may no longer live, but Christ lives in him
• Grace is nothing else but a certain beginning of glory within us.
• A sacrament is a sign that commemorates what precedes it - Christ's Passion; demonstrates what is accomplished in us through Christ's Passion - grace; and prefigures what that Passion pledges to us - future glory.
• The Eucharist is the Sacrament of sacraments: all the other sacraments are ordered to it as to their end.
• Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.
• The seventh Sacrament is Matrimony, and in it men, if they live uprightly, are saved; and thereby they are enabled to live without mortal sin.

Morals, law and reason
• Reason is man’s nature. Hence whatever is contrary to reason is contrary to human nature.
• Chastity takes its name from the fact that reason "chastises" concupiscence.
• The more necessary something is, the more the order of reason must be preserved in it. Sexuality is most necessary for the common good, that is the preservation of the human race. Thus there is the greatest necessity for observing the order of reason in this matter.
• All sin arises from some ignorance.
• A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason…. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.
• Law is an ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by the one who is in charge of the community.
• If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's.
• Because of the diverse conditions of humans, it happens that some acts are virtuous to some people, as appropriate and suitable to them, while the same acts are immoral for others, as inappropriate to them.
• When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . . whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery.
• As a matter of honor, one man owes it to another to manifest the truth.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

PRAYER OF ST. BONAVENTURE (A new translation)

Here is a new translation I prepared in connection with the General Monthly Intention of Opus Dei last year 2010 which goes up to February of 2011. The intention is to pray and do something so as improve our thanksgiving after communion in order to pass on to many others the hunger to deal with God.

St. Bonaventure's Thanksgiving after Communion famously focuses on that hunger. Since the traditional translation uses English words and turns of phrases that are no longer that common, which may not be that appealing to the modern audience, I put together this modern translation with the aid of Whitaker's Latin Dictionary, the meaning found in the other translations (Italian and Spanish), and other aids.

Prayer of St. Bonaventure

Pierce the depths of my soul, O sweetest Lord Jesus, with the most delightful and most wholesome wound of your love, with true, serene, and most holy apostolic charity, that my soul may always languish and melt with love and longing for you. May it yearn for you and swoon for your courts, and long to be unloosed and be with you.

Grant that I may hunger for you, the bread of angels, the refreshing food of holy souls, our daily, life-sustaining bread, containing all sweetness and relish, and all delicate delight.

May I always hunger for you and feed on you--you on whom the angels desire to gaze. May the depths of my soul be filled with the sweetness of your taste.

May my heart always thirst for you, the flowing source of life, the fountain of wisdom and knowledge, the fountain of eternal light, the gushing stream of pleasure, the abundance of the house of God.

May my heart always desire you, seek you and find you. May I run to you and reach you; meditate on you, speak of you and do all things to the praise and glory of your name, with humility and discretion, with love and delight, with ease and affection, and with perseverance until the end.

May you always be my only hope, my complete assurance, my wealth, my delight, my pleasure, my joy, my rest and tranquility, my peace, my delicacy, my fragrance, my sweetness, my food, my refreshment, my refuge, my help, my wisdom, my inheritance, my possession and my treasure--in you, may my mind and heart be fixed and fastened and immovably rooted now and always. Amen.


Oratio Sancti Bonaventurae (original Latin)

Transfige, dulcissime Domine Iesu, medullas et viscera animae meae suavissimo ac saluberrimo amoris tui vulnere, vera serenaque et apostolica sanctissima caritate, ut langueat et liquefiat anima mea solo semper amore et desiderio tui, te concupiscat et deficiat in atria tua, cupiat dissolvi et esse tecum.

Da ut anima mea te esuriat, panem Angelorum, refectionem animarum sanctarum; panem nostrum cotidianum, supersubstantialem, habentem omnem dulcedinem et saporem, et omne delectamentum suavitatis.

Te, in quem desiderant Angeli prospicere, semper esuriat et comedat cor meum, et dulcedine saporis tui repleantur viscera animae meae; te semper sitiat fontem vitae, fontem sapientiae et scientiae, fontem aeterni luminis, torrentem voluptatis, ubertatem domus Dei.

Te semper ambiat, te quaerat, te inveniat, ad te tendat, ad te perveniat, te meditetur, te loquatur, et omnia operetur in laudem et gloriam nominis tui, cum humilitate et discretione, cum dilectione, et delectatione, cum facilitate et affectu, cum perseverantia usque in finem; ut tu sis solus semper spes mea, tota fiducia mea, divitiae meae, delectatio mea, iucunditas mea, gaudium meum, quies et tranquillitas mea, pax mea, suavitas mea, odor meus, dulcedo mea, cibus meus, refectio mea, refugium meum, auxilium meum, sapientia mea, portio mea, possessio mea, thesaurus meus, in quo fixa et firma et immobiliter semper sit radicata mens mea et cor meum. Amen.

PRAYER OF ST. BONAVENTURE (Traditional English translation)

Pierce, o most sweet Lord Jesus, my inmost soul with the most joyous and healthful wound of your love, with true, serene, and most holy apostolic charity, that my soul may ever languish and melt with love and longing for you, that it may yearn for you and faint for your courts, and long to be dissolved and to be with you.

Grant that my soul may hunger after you, the bread of angels, the refreshment of holy souls, our daily and supersubstantial bread, having all sweetness and savor and every delight of taste; let my heart ever hunger after and feed upon you, upon whom the angels desire to look, and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of your savor; may it ever thirst after you, the fountain of life, the fountain of wisdom and knowledge, the fountain of eternal light, the torrent of pleasure, the richness of the house of God; may it ever compass you, seek you, find you, run to you, attain you, meditate upon you, speak of you, and do all things to the praise and glory of your name, with humility and discretion, with love and delight, with ease and affection, and with perseverance unto the end; may you alone be ever my hope, my entire assurance, my riches, my delight, my pleasure, my joy, my rest and tranquility, my peace, my sweetness, my fragrance, my sweet savor, my food, my refreshment, my refuge, my help, my wisdom, my portion, my possession and my treasure, in whom may my mind and my heart be fixed and firm and rooted immovably henceforth and forever. Amen.

Spanish translation

Traspasa, dulcísimo Jesús y Señor mío, la médula de mi alma con el suavísimo y saludabilísimo dardo de tu amor; con la verdadera, pura y santísima caridad apostólica, a fin de que mi alma desfallezca y se derrita siempre sólo en amarte y en deseo de poseerte: que por Ti suspire, y desfallezca por hallarse en los atrios de tu Casa; anhele ser desligada del cuerpo para unirse contigo. Haz que mi alma tenga hambre de Ti, Pan de los Angeles, alimento de las almas santas, Pan nuestro de cada día, lleno de fuerza, de toda dulzura y sabor, y de todo suave deleite.

Oh Jesús, en quién se desean mirar los Angeles: tenga siempre mi corazón hambre de Ti, y el interior de mi alma rebose con la dulzura de tu sabor; tenga siempre sed de Ti, fuente de vida, manantial de sabiduría y de ciencia, río de luz eterna, torrente de delicias, abundancia de la Casa de Dios: que te desee, te busque, te halle; que a Ti vaya y a Ti llegue; en Ti piense, de Ti hable, y todas mis acciones encamine a honra y gloria de tu nombre, con humildad y discreción, con amor y deleite, con facilidad y afecto, con perseverancia hasta el fin: para que Tú sólo seas siempre mi esperanza, toda mi confianza, mi riqueza, mi deleite, mi contento, mi gozo, mi descanso y mi tranquilidad, mi paz, mi suavidad, mi perfume, mi dulzura, mi comida, mi alimento, mi refugio, mi auxilio, mi sabiduría, mi herencia, mi posesión, mi tesoro, en el cual esté siempre fija y firme e inconmoviblemente arraigada mi alma y mi corazón. Amén.

Italian translation

Trafiggi, o dolcissimo Gesù, la par­te più intima dell'anima mia con la soavissima e salutifera ferita del tuo amore e con la verace, apostolica e santissima carità, affinché la mia ani­ma languisca e si strugga per il solo amore e desiderio di te Te solo brami e si consumi per il desiderio della tua casa, aspiri a libe­rarsi dai legami del corpo e a restare sempre con te. Concedimi che l'anima mia abbia fame di te, pane degli Angeli, nutri­mento delle anime sante, pane nostro quotidiano, che ci dà forza e contiene in sé ogni dolcezza, ogni delizia e ogni soave sapore, lì mio cuore brami solo di cibarsi di te, in cui gli Angeli desiderano fissare lo sguardo e la mia anima sia ripiena della dolcezza del tuo sapore. Che io abbia sempre sete di te, fonte di vita, fonte di sapienza e di scienza, fonte di luce eterna, torrente di ogni delizia, abbondanza della casa di Dio. Che io aneli sempre a te, te cerchi, te ritrovi, a te sospiri, a te giunga, te mediti, di te parli, e tutto compia a lode e gloria del tuo nome, con umiltà e discrezione, con amore e diletto, con facilità e affetto, con perseveranza sino alla fine. Tu solo sii sempre la mia speran­za, tutta la mia fiducia, la mia ricchez­za, la mia delizia, la mia gioia, il mio gaudio, la mia quiete e la mia tranquil­lità. Tu sii la mia pace, la mia dolcezza, il mio profumo, il mio cibo, il mio nutri­mento, il mio rifugio, la mia possessione. Tu finalmente sii il mio tesoro, nel quale la mia mente e il mio cuore re­stino fissi, fermi e immobilmente radi­cati per sempre. Amen.