Aquinas as Biblical Exegete

His Interpretation of Paul’s “Thorn in the Flesh”

No doubt Thomas Aquinas is most famous as a systematic theologian who made great use of philosophical sources such as Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Nevertheless, when Aquinas first taught at the University of Paris, he held the title of Magister … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – February 2019

Why Do We Need Grace? Question: St. Thomas believed that man has an inborn understanding and disposition toward doing the good. What, then, is the purpose of the infusion of grace? Answer: I really do not know where you get the idea … [Read more...]

The Enriching Complementarity of Faith and Science

“By faith alone do we hold, and by no demonstration can it be proved, that the world did not always exist,” writes St. Thomas Aquinas, implicitly making a claim about the proper relationship between faith and science.[1. Thomas Aquinas, Sum … [Read more...]

Happiness — A Thomistic Consideration (Part II)

Continued Reflections on Summa Theologiae I-II, Q 1–5

Introduction to Part II The three pillars of Catholic social teaching, which springs from natural law and human nature, are human dignity, common good, and subsidiarity. Within societal structures with hierarchical poleis (e.g., federal, … [Read more...]

Happiness — A Thomistic Consideration (Part I)

A Reflection on Summa Theologiae I-II, Q 1–5

Introduction At some point in the life of every human person the great questions arise in their ponderings: “Where did I come from?” “Why am I here?” “Where am I going?” These questions encompass the ultimate question of our own mortality: … [Read more...]

Christ, Melchizedek, and the Eucharistic Sacrifice

“…when [Christ] instituted the Eucharist. That fulfilled Jeremiah 31. That's when he offered what appeared to be bread and wine. That's when he became a new Melchizedek, feeding the new children of Abraham so that through Abraham's seed, Jes … [Read more...]

On the Relationship Between Merit and Grace

A Thomistic Understanding of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

There is often much confusion between the relationship of merit and grace and how it plays a part in our lives from a soteriological perspective. This confusion, from both non-Catholics and on behalf of some Catholics themselves, has led to … [Read more...]

Early Fall Reading

The Concept of Woman: Volume III: The Search for Communion of Persons, 1500-2015. By Sister Prudence Allen, R.S.M., Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016. 546 pages. Reviewed by Joshua M. Evans, Ph.D. Revelation. Catholic Commentary on Sacred … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question: Does a homily mean something other than a sermon? Online dictionaries seem to show them to be interchangeable. I have for years now believed homilies to be based on Scripture, and sermons might cover a range of topics, not … [Read more...]

What Lessons Do Thomas Aquinas’s Sermons Hold For Modern Preachers?

Son: “All the men who were ordained with me seemed to think that the faculty of preaching will come to them as a matter of course.” Father: “Then I pity their congregations.” —Canon Twells, Colloquies on Preaching It is strange to th … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question:  Why was baptism by John so crucial for Jesus, but not for Jesus’ followers? Answer: The baptism by John is the last in a number of rituals established by God as a part of the progressive preparation of the human race for the co … [Read more...]

Leisure: The Basis of Everything?

At the start of every semester, I know that I will need to undertake a kind of philosophical apologetics. I need to make my students see that philosophy is important. Indeed, it is really a matter of making them see that it actually exists, … [Read more...]

Late Summer Reading

Unity in the Church or The Principle of Catholicism. By Johann Adam Möhler. (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America, 1996). 487 pages. $34.95. ISBN: 978-0-8132-2876-1. Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law. By J. Bu … [Read more...]

Thomistic Reflections on Divine Mercy and Divine Justice

Many paths can be taken during this Year of Mercy. Above all, we must tread the path of experiencing mercy—in our own participation in the Sacraments, and in our extension of Divine Mercy to others. Nevertheless, knowledge of the faith and, … [Read more...]

Questions Regarding the Use of Latin in Celebrating the Mass

When things go bad in a family, organization, religion, or society, the tendency is to look for a change that occurred before things started to crumble. It is difficult to deny the tumultuous situation within the Church at the present time, … [Read more...]