“Reason is one way of finding truth. It is a distinctively human way; animals can't do it. We can. So let's begin.”

Peter Kreeft

St. Thomas Aquinas

 (1225 - 1274 A.D.)    Feast Day - January 28

St. Thomas was born circa 1225 in Italy, the youngest of eight children. Ordained in Cologne, France, he studied under St. Albert the Great from 1248 to 1252. It was only after his return to the University of Paris in 1269, when Thomas produced the bulk of his most famous work, the SUMMA THEOLOGICA. He died in Cistercian Monastery of Fossanuova, Italy, on March 7, 1274.

Aquinas' greatest achievement in the world of thought was the integration of the teachings of Aristotle (founder of formal logic with deductive reasoning) and St. Augustine (architect of combining Christian philosophy and Neo-Platonism).

Thomas realized that only a "being" who exists through the power of his own essence can be the final explanation for the existence of the contingent things of the world. This necessary "existence itself " - IPSUM ESSE SUBSISTENS - is what Thomas called GOD - the ultimate reason why there is something, rather than nothing.

Thomas Aquinas saw with utter clarity that since all truth ultimately comes from God, there can be no conflict between the science and the facts of revelation. Apparent conflicts between the reason and faith are born from either bad science or bad religion. He believed that if an interpretation of the Bible runs counter to clearly established findings of science, it should beunderstood in a more symbolic or metaphorical way.

Thomas recognized that since God became human in Christ, the destiny of human beings is a closer communion with God. The practical implication of his teaching is that each human person is irreducibly dignified. No other religion or philosophy or social theory has ever held out so exalted a sense of human dignity and purpose. His teachings are ever more important in our era of legalized abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research and pre-emptive wars, all of which degrade the dignity of human person.

Modified from: "Fr. Barron on Thomas Aquinas"



St. Thomas Aquinas Series