Will you allow God to be God: Homily for Saint Thomas Aquinas, January 28, 2023
Given at Saint Dominic Priory, Saint Louis, Missouri. Readings for the Day taken from the Dominican Lectionary. Readings for Today. Listen to our other homilies.
Will you allow God to be God?
When I first encountered the work of Saint Thomas Aquinas, I did not at all appreciate him. His writings seemed little more to me than a logic game which did not have much connection to the real world. I liked philosophy. I liked theology. But the way in which I was introduced to Saint Thomas Aquinas was uninspiring.
Fortunately, when I entered the Dominicans, I met Saint Thomas Aquinas the person, and also was presented his thought in a way that was quite inspiring. And what was it I learned about Saint Thomas? I learned that in everything, what he wrote was very secondary to who he knew. Throughout his life he needed to let God be God.
His family did not want Thomas to be a Dominican. God did. Church leaders were skeptical of Thomas at best, since he was bringing in new (though really old) ideas from Aristotle, via the Muslim thinkers. Saint Abert the Great believed, and recognized God.
While the thought of Saint Thomas was amazing, it was his belief in God that made him holy. And while so many have studied his thought so that we could appreciate more fully how faith and reason work together, it was his mysticism, his experience of knowing God that we really remembered, for it was this that inspired all he did.