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January 28 | Knowing God
A.D. 1225–March 7, 1274
For much of his childhood, Thomas Aquinas was known as the “Dumb Ox” because of his large size and slow speech. Little did his peers know they were mocking one of the greatest minds in human history.
Over the 2,000-year history of Catholicism, Thomas Aquinas is among the greatest theologians and philosophers the Church has known. Many believe his intellectual contribution to be unmatched. His theological treatise Summa Theologica is still read in universities across the world.
Brilliant as he was, Thomas was intimately aware of two important truths that elude many great minds.
The first was this: The longest journey we make is from the head to the heart. It is a spiritual journey, a pilgrimage of prayer. We think of the heart as emotional, and it is, but it is also deeply spiritual.
This was the second: There is a vast difference between knowing about God and knowing God.
Saint Thomas Aquinas wasn’t just a brilliant mind. He was a man driven by a deep love for God. He was a man of deep prayer. And at the very center of his life, the source of his wisdom and joy, was the Eucharist. The same man who used Aristotelian philosophy to define Transubstantiation—the moment the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ—could hardly speak at times during the Mass because he was so moved when he participated in the actual miracle.
Thomas Aquinas’ example invites us to ask some powerful questions about our own lives: Am I living my life from the mind? Am I living my life from the heart? Or have I found the delicate balance between the heart and the mind where love and wisdom reside?
And most importantly: Do I know about God or do I truly know God?
How well do I know God as a person? Am I living my life from my mind, from my heart, or have I balanced the two?
I will strive to know God better, day by day.
This reflection is brought to you from book title.
Patron Saint of: Academics
Symbols: The Sun
Feast Day: January 28
Canonized: July 18, 1323
Canonized By: Pope John XXII
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