Feast Day of St. Thomas

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praying-in-the-presence-of-our-lord-aquinas

I’ve read a fair amount writing by St. Thomas Aquinas, at least when compared to what I’ve read of other authors. When compared to how much he wrote, I’ve read only a little. I have, however, read a lot about Aquinas. I’m not sure I have a favorite biography: Chesterton’s Dumb Ox, obviously, ranks up there, as does Ralph McInerny’s excellent St. Thomas Aquinas (unfortunately, I didn’t much care for his A First Glance at St. Thomas Aquinas). Pieper’s Guide to Thomas Aquinas is also great.

I do, however, have a favorite passage from my STA biographical reading. It comes from Pieper’s The Silence of St. Thomas:

The man who does not use his reason will never get to that boundary beyond which reason really fails. In the work of St. Thomas all ways of creaturely knowing have been followed to the very end–to the boundary of mystery. And the more intensely we pursue these ways of knowledge, the more is revealed to us–of the darkness, but also of the reality of mystery.

My recently-acquired skepticism is directed primarily at worldly things: statistics, the credibility of news stories, experts (especially economic), the government, science. But let’s face it, when it comes to matters of the ultimate, we need to be skeptics first.

But humble skeptics.