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.

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