Aquinas in Brief

St. Thomas Aquinas was a philosopher and theologian (and doctor of the Church) who has had an enormous influence on Catholic thought. Nonetheless, he is not exactly everyday reading for anyone other than theologians, academics and students of theology or philosphy. His writings are massive and written in a style not easy to follow. That’s too bad, since there is much in his writing on which one could profitably reflect.

Thus, John Kavanaugh provides a benefit to many in a column in a recent America Magazine, titled Aquinas, Go with Me. Recognizing that reading Aquinas is a “long and often arduous journey,” he shares with readers what he views as some central sentences of Aquinas, suggesting that each is worth a day of meditation.

I’ve picked just a couple of those maxims to share with you today. While you may not have the entire day to spend reflecting on any or all of them, you will find it worthwhile to grapple a bit with each of them. Here they are:

Evil does not exist, except in a good subject.

Every judgment of conscience, be it right or wrong, be it about things evil in themselves or morally indifferent, is obligatory, in such wise that whoever acts against conscience always does moral evil.

Two main reasons why people fall short of justice – deference to the powerful and deference to the mob.

All fear springs from love. Ordered love is included in every virtue, disordered love in every vice.

You can read the column in its entirety, which will give you a number of other maxims to reflect on, here.