December 1, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — On December 6, 1273, the feast of St. Nicholas of Myra, St. Thomas Aquinas, the greatest intellectual the Catholic Church has ever known, underwent a life-changing mystical experience that left him unable to proceed with his theological projects and, in fact, marked the beginning of the end of his career. He would die three months later in the company of Cistercian monks at Fossanova on March 7, which remains his traditional feast day. Christians who know that every circumstance, great and small, falls within the plan of Divine Providence may reasonably ask: Why did the Angelic Doctor experience the peak moment of his life on the feast of the saint under whose patronage gifts are given to little children each winter?
An answer is implicit in the accounts of Thomas’s last days, which, remarks Fr. John Saward, “are truly moving to read”:
The big, heavy man, as silent and still as a babe asleep; the scholar at last without his pen. We can see Thomas and Reginald together, the friend anxious but finally accepting, the saint lost in contemplation of the divine beauty. By the “faithful testimony” of Reginald we are told that the last confession of Thomas was like that of a “five-year-old boy,” suggesting not only the purity of infancy but also that childlike trustfulness commended by the Lord, who reveals his mysteries not to the clever but to babies.
In the winter of this life’s pilgrimage, the wintry dark from which the eternal summer of heaven seems impossibly distant, God comes with light and warmth to men and women who are, in their hearts, little children, relying upon Him and trusting in Him no matter what the season’s weather may bring. God pours out the riches of His fatherly love most abundantly on the most childlike, who attract His gaze by their open-eyed wonder, their confident trust, their never-ending flood of questions, their innocent joy.
Fr. Brian Davies writes that St. Thomas
moves from question to question with a breathtaking eagerness. He is always asking “Why?” or “What?” One might even say that Aquinas’s whole system rests on a question. … God, for him, is an answer to puzzlement (admiratio), an answer which leaves us with yet more questions.
What is more typical of a normal child than a stream of questions that runs dry only when adults grow impatient or cannot think of what to say? The model of the trusting, inquisitive child who “asks, seeks, knocks” is both the point of departure for discovering God and the point of arrival in the heavenly kingdom, where he who asks will be answered, he who seeks will find, and he who knocks will have the door opened unto him.
Fr. Saward again comments: “In the exercise of his science, as in the conduct of his life, the theologian must convert and become like a child, recovering and preserving a sense of astonishment at the grandeur of what God has revealed in His Son.”
The Savior seals His nuptial covenant with the pure of heart who seek the one thing necessary. To be a theologian is to be in love with the truth of God, to give oneself confidently and humbly to that truth which anticipates us at every step. Fr. Thomas Gilby reminds us of the personal presence that gives theology its very meaning: “The Word and the Spirit of Love are sent to us, and all the words of the science of faith and all affections within divine friendship are so many echoes and refractions of their presence.” The exemplar and fulfillment of theology is the beatific vision — a vision of the infinitely great by the infinitely small, the Creator who is Father by the creature who is His child, the Savior who is bridegroom by the saint who is His bride.
A biographer of St. Thomas, Fr. Martin Grabmann, attempts to put this “theology of the blessed” into words:
Their total knowledge and love are uninterruptedly ordered in one continuous act toward God, the unveiled divine Love, whom they contemplate face to face. Their whole activity and life are an eternal, ineffably brilliant, glowing, and blessed ecstasy of love in this vision, enjoyment, and embrace of the infinite triune God.
In his sermons on the Apostles’ Creed, St. Thomas defines eternal life as the definitive union of man with God, which means seeing God face to face, giving Him perfect praise, enjoying the superabundant fulfillment of all desire and an inconceivable delight, “knowing all natures of all things, and all truth, and whatsoever we wish to know, as well as possessing whatsoever we desire to possess.” It brings with it perfect security, without sorrow, toil, or fear, and the pleasant fellowship of all the blessed, magnifying the joy of each into the joy of all.
PETITION UPDATE (12/10/20)
Prior to the election on November 3, the U.S. bishops as a whole did not address Joe Biden’s anti-Catholic position regarding faith and morals. The bishops’ lack of clarity is a scandal in itself and probably contributed to the possible election of a pro-abortion “Catholic” to the presidency.
The bishops could have spoken out against Biden’s stance collectively, but they were overwhelmingly silent. Because of this, they will be at least partly responsible for the policies advanced by a Biden administration, in the event that Biden is sworn into office.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!
Since Archbishop José H. Gomez and the USCCB prematurely congratulated Joe Biden as “the second United States president to profess the Catholic faith,” Gomez has announced that Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron will lead a “working group” to deal with a Biden Administration.
Although Joe Biden professes to be a Catholic, he supports policies that directly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church, including abortion, homosexual “marriage,” and transgenderism for children.
“[Biden has] given us reason to believe that he will support policies that are against some fundamental values that we hold dear as Catholics. These policies include the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and the preservation of Roe v. Wade. Both of these policies undermine our pre-eminent priority of the elimination of abortion,” said Gomez.
On November 9, Archbishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas tweeted: “A dark cloud has descended on this nation when the USCCB and Planned Parenthood speak in unison in support of a Biden-Harris administration that supports the slaughter of innocents by abortion for all 9 months of pregnancy.”
Additionally, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, Colorado and Archbishop Charles Chaput have both declared publicly that Joe Biden “should not receive Holy Communion."
Unfortunately, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. has said that he will give Holy Communion to Biden because “it’s a matter of the responsibility that I have as the archbishop to be engaged and to be in dialogue with him, even in those areas where we obviously have some differences.”
Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware and Bishop McElroy of San Diego also congratulated Biden in statements, but they have not indicated whether or not they would administer Holy Communion to him.
The bishops should not congratulate someone who has betrayed his Catholic Faith like Joe Biden has. It's an embarrassment and a scandal.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has finally spoken on Joe Biden and Kamala Harris....
Not to chastise them for their blatant anti-life, anti-family and anti-Catholic views, but to "congratulate" them on "[being elected]"!
BUT, as everyone know, the anti-Catholic Biden-Harris ticket has NOT been elected.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to the U.S. Catholic bishops telling them to retract their premature and offensive statement on the media's call of the election in Biden's favor.
As of the launch of this petition on November 9, NOT ONE STATE has certified the election results. All of the results are tentative and many are being litigated.
So, this is not the time for the bishops to falsely assert that Biden "has received enough votes to be elected the 46th President of the United States."
That's just not true, and for the bishops to willingly play along with the media's attempt to sweep allegations of voter fraud under the rug, is shocking behavior.
And, while Joe Biden may profess the Catholic Faith, he has also stated his support for abortion, homosexual "marriage," and recently, transgenderism for children.
For bishops, therefore, to congratulate a traitor to the Catholic Faith like Joe Biden, it requires a disturbing level of arrogance and pride.
That is not to say they should stand in judgement. But to congratulate such a man, rather than chastise him, sends exactly the wrong message to the faithful, 50% of whom are believed to have supported Biden in his election bid.
Stop ingratiating yourselves to a person who is advocating mass murder! Stop congratulating this anti-Catholic "Catholic."
For goodness' sake, grow a backbone and start defending the Faith!
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'US Bishops hail Biden as second Catholic president, ignoring his pro-abortion record and disputed election outcome' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-bishops-hail-biden-as-second-catholic-president-ignoring-his-pro-abortion-record-and-disputed-election-outcome
**Photo Credit: Screen grab from USCCB's Twitter feed. Original photo: CNS Photo/Colton Machado/Archdiocese of LA
This is the paradise St. Nicholas of Bari won by practicing the mercy, humility, and faithfulness God had poured into his heart. This is the paradise St. Thomas of Aquino won by living the same virtues. Each in due course became a great saint and preacher of wisdom by turning to become a little child and a fool for Christ. May we, by doing the same here and now, join these two merry men in their eternal rejoicing.