Saint Thomas Aquinas, aka Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis or Doctor Universalis

Saint Thomas
Aquinas, aka Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis or Doctor Universalis
c. 1225
1274

Italian Dominican Priest of the Roman Church, Philosopher and Theologian in the tradition of scholasticism

Author Quotes

Music is the exaltation of the mind derived from things eternal, bursting forth in sound.

Reason may be employed in two ways to establish a point: first for the purpose of furnishing sufficient proof of some principle, as in natural science, where sufficient proof can be brought to show that the movement of the heavens is always of uniform velocity. Reason is employed in another way, not as furnishing a sufficient proof of a principle, but as confirming an already established principle, by showing the congruity of its results, as in astrology the theory of eccentrics and epicycles is considered as established because thereby the sensible appearances of the heavenly movements can be explained; not, however, as if this reason were sufficient, since some other theory might explain them.

The goodness of the will depends on the intention of the end.

The purpose of human law is to lead men to virtue not suddenly, but gradually.

There must be must be a first mover existing above all – and this we call God.

We are like children, who stand in need of masters to enlighten us and direct us and God has provided for this, by appointing his angels to be our teachers and guides.

No being can be spoken of as evil, in so far as it is being, but only so far as it lacks being. Thus a man is said to be evil because he lacks the being of virtue; and an eye is said to be evil because it lacks the power to see well.

Religion directs man to God not as its object but as its end.

The greatest of all pleasures consists in the contemplation of truth.

The reason, however, why the philosopher may be likened to the poet is this: both are concerned with the marvelous.

There would not be a perfect likeness of God in the universe if all things were of one grade of being.

We can’t have full knowledge all at once. We must start by believing; then afterwards we may be led on to master the evidence for ourselves.

Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious

Religion is not faith, but a confession of faith by outward signs.

The happy man in this life needs friends.

The soul is known by its acts.

Those things that have occupied a man's thoughts and affections while awake recur to his imagination while asleep.

Well-ordered self-love is right and natural.

O ineffable Creator, Who, out of the treasure of Thy wisdom, hast ordained three hierarchies of Angels, and placed them in wonderful order above the heavens, and hast most wisely distributed the parts of the world; Thou, Who are called the true fountain of light and wisdom, and the highest beginning, vouchsafe to pour upon the darkness of my understanding, in which I was born, the double beam of Thy brightness, removing from me all darkness of sin and ignorance. Thou, Who makest eloquent the tongue of the dumb, instruct my tongue, and pour on my lips the grace of Thy blessing. Give me quickness of understanding, capacity of retaining, subtlety of interpreting, facility in learning, and copious grace of speaking. Guide my going in, direct my going forward, accomplish my going forth… Amen.

Since faith rests upon infallible truth, and since the contrary of a truth can never be demonstrated, it is clear that the arguments brought against faith cannot be demonstrations, but are difficulties that can be answered.

The happy man needs friends... not, indeed, not make use of them, since he suffices himself, nor to delight in them, since he possesses perfect delight in the operation of virtue, but for the purpose of a good operation, namely, that he may do good to them, that he may delight in seeing them do good, and again that he may be helped by them in his good work.

The soul is like an uninhabited world

Those truths are self-evident which are recognized at once, as soon as the terms in which they are expressed are known. Such a truth is the assertion that God exists: for by the name 'God' we understand something greater than which nothing can be thought. This notion is formed in the understanding by whoever hears and understands the name 'God,' so that God must already exist at least in the mind. Now He cannot exist in the mind only: for what is in the mind and in reality is greater than that which is in the mind only; but nothing is greater than God, as the very meaning of the name shows: it follows that the existence of God is a self-evident truth, being evidenced by the mere meaning of the name.

What is natural cannot be changed while nature remains.* But contrary opinions cannot be in the same mind at the same time: therefore no opinion or belief is sent to man from God contrary to natural knowledge. And therefore the Apostle says: The word is near in thy heart and in thy mouth, that is, the word of faith which we preach (Rom. x, 8). But because it surpasses reason it is counted by some as contrary to reason, which cannot be. To the same effect is the authority of Augustine: What truth reveals can nowise be contrary to the holy books either of the Old or of the New Testament." Hence the conclusion is evident, that any arguments alleged against the teachings of faith do not proceed logically from first principles of nature, principles of themselves known, and so do not amount to a demonstration; but are either probable reasons or sophistical; hence room is left for refuting them.

Obedience unites us so closely to God that it in a way transforms us into Him, so that we have no other will but His. If obedience is lacking, even prayer cannot be pleasing to God.

Author Picture
First Name
Saint Thomas
Last Name
Aquinas, aka Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis or Doctor Universalis
Birth Date
c. 1225
Death Date
1274
Bio

Italian Dominican Priest of the Roman Church, Philosopher and Theologian in the tradition of scholasticism