Monday, January 28, 2019
Today, in Mercy, we celebrate the Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church.
The influence of Aquinas on Catholic theology and resultant culture cannot be overstated. He is considered by many to be the foremost articulator of the Catholic tradition of reason and of divine revelation. For centuries, his thought became the underlying curriculum for priestly and religious training, universally influencing Catholic education, preaching, and theology.
Thomistic thought has been a great blessing to the Church. On the other hand, there are concerns about those who enshrine 13th century concepts without ongoing theological examination and development.
St. Anselm, outstanding theologians of the 11th century said, “Theology is faith seeking understanding.” It is trying to know all we can about God, but it always falls short of knowing God.
Many modern theologians develop emerging thought using Aquinas as their foundation, while deconstructing the unhelpful medieval constrictions of his work. Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ is one of my favorites. She has been noted as offering “new ways to think and speak about God within the framework of traditional Catholic beliefs and motifs.”
As well as his immense body of theology, Thomas Aquinas was the composer of many treasured hymns. You might enjoy this one today.
Music: Adorote Devote ~ Thomas Aquinas
See below for both Latin and English lyrics
1. Adoro te devote, latens Deitas,
Quae sub his figuris vere latitas;
Tibi se cor meum totum subiicit,
Quia te contemplans, totum deficit.
2. Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur,
Sed auditu solo tuto creditur;
Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius,
Nil hoc verbo veritatis verius.
3. In Cruce latebat sola Deitas.
At hic latet simul et humanitas:
Ambo tamen credens, atque confitens,
Peto quod petivit latro paenitens.
4. Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor,
Deum tamen meum te confiteor:
Fac me tibi semper magis credere,
In te spem habere, te diligere.
5. O memoriale mortis Domini,
Panis vivus vitam praestans homini:
Praesta meae menti de te vivere,
Et te illi semper dulce sapere.
6. Pie pellicane Iesu Domine,
Me immundum munda tuo Sanguine:
Cuius una stilla salvum facere
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.
7. Iesu, quem velatum nunc aspicio,
Oro, fiat illud, quod tam sitio,
Ut te revelata cernens facie,
Visu sim beatus tuae gloriae.
1.Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
2. Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.
3. On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.
4. I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.
5. O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.
6. Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what thy bosom ran—
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.
7. Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with thy glory’s sight.