Praying with St. Thomas Aquinas

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, philosopher, patron of Catholic universities, colleges and schools. One biography of him suggested that his life could be “summed up in a few words: praying, preaching, teaching, writing, journeying.”

Although we most often think of Aquinas as a theologian and philosopher (Leo XIII called him “the prince and master of all Scholastic doctors”), he was also a contemplative who had a rich prayer life. Whatever his other contributions, Aquinas wrote a number of beautiful poems and prayers that reveal this side of him. (I’ve shared before – here – my favorite one of his poems.)

This morning it seems fitting to share this wonderful Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas, which expresses well the desire of so many of us:

Grant me, O Lord my God,
a mind to know you,
a heart to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
conduct pleasing to you,
faithful perseverance in waiting for you,
and a hope of finally embracing you.