Listers, it does little good to know that St. Thomas Aquinas is the Angelic Doctor if you know nothing of the Angelic Doctor. Our Vicars of Christ over the centuries have called Roman Catholics to study the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas due to his incomparable depth and insight. Among a host of adulation, the following quotes stand out:
“He (Thomas Aquinas) enlightened the Church more than all the other Doctors together; a man can derive more profit from his books in one year than from a lifetime spent in pondering the philosophy of others” (Consistorial address of 1318). – Pope John XXII
“We therefore desired that all teachers of philosophy and sacred theology should be warned that if they deviated so much as a step, in metaphysics especially, from Aquinas, they exposed themselves to grave risk.” – St. Pius X
“For it has come to light that there were not lacking among the leaders of heretical sects some who openly declared that, if the teaching of Thomas Aquinas were only taken away, they could easily battle with all Catholic teachers, gain the victory, and abolish the Church. A vain hope, indeed, but no vain testimony.” – Pope Leo XII
St. Thomas Aquinas is the premiere figure and influence in the life and work of Fr. Robert Barron. The videos all contain a personal reflection that leads into a philosophical or theological observation of Aquinas. To wit, after Vatican II the Angelic Doctor was largely set aside and the lacuna was filled with far lesser – if not simply heretical – influences. Fr. Barron’s work and vocation found its impetus in Aquinas and he advocates a renewal of thomistic studies in order to renew the Church.
1. My Personal Hero: St. Thomas Aquinas
Fr. Barron introduces St. Thomas Aquinas by beginning with his personal experience with the Angelic Doctor and then moving into the harmony of truth advocated by thomistic studies.
2. Aquinas as the Spiritual Master
Fr. Barron describes an early theological work of his that illuminates the subtle but powerful spiritual undertones found among the Dumb Ox’s other wise “dry” systematic writings.
3. The Need of Aquinas to Renew the Church
Fr. Barron reflects on his personal relationship with Aquinas and laments how the post-Vatican II Church really set St. Thomas aside.
More Exhortation to Study Aquinas
Eucharistic Soul: 9 Statements on Aquinas by Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican II Did Away with Aquinas? – 4 References that Show Otherwise
Patrimony of Wisdom: 6 Quotes by St. Pius X on Aquinas
The Sun that Warms the World: Pope Leo XIII on Aquinas