Some of our opponents try to portray Catholics as blinkered, unthinking, rather stupid individuals. We are sometimes told ‘You don’t believe all that rubbish do you?’ by those who are prepared to accept as gospel anything they see on the television. The saint we celebrate ton 28th is a powerful refutation of such views. St. Thomas Aquinas lived during one of the most turbulent times in the history of ideas. The universities of the thirteenth century were awash with all sorts of radical ideas stemming from the rediscovery of the works of Aristotle. It seemed as if everything was called into question.
Aquinas was a Dominican friar and he and his fellows were concerned to reconcile the new learning with the faith. They did so by denying neither. In his words, ‘all truth, no matter wheresoever found, is of God’. Aquinas was keen to show what we could prove and what we had to accept on faith, but also to show what the faith meant at its deepest level. He wasn’t prepared to trot out the same old answers but looked afresh at the questions that were being asked.
We too live in exciting times in a world that has many new ideas and ideologies swirling about. We must avoid making the faith subservient to these new ideas, but we must also look for the truth present in them. May St Thomas pray for us that we may have the wisdom to do just that.