Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P.
Confessor, Philosopher, Theologian, Doctor of the Church

The Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. "St. Thomas Aquinas

A Brief Life of Saint Thomas

Adoro te devote
(Translation: Gerard Manley Hopkins S.J.)

Adoro te devote, latens Deitas,
Quæ sub his figuris vere latitas;
Tibi se cor meum totum subjicit,
Quia te contemplans totum deficit.
Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at Thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur,
Sed auditu solo tuto creditur.
Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius;
Nil hoc verbo veritátis verius.
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth Himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.
In cruce latebat sola Deitas,
At hic latet simul et Humanitas,
Ambo tamen credens atque confitens,
Peto quod petivit latro pœnitens.
On the cross Thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here Thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.
Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor:
Deum tamen meum te confiteor.
Fac me tibi semper magis credere,
In te spem habere, te diligere.
I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.
O memoriale mortis Domini!
Panis vivus, vitam præstans homini!
Præsta meæ menti de te vívere,
Et te illi semper dulce sapere.
O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.
Pie Pelicane, Jesu Domine,
Me immundum munda tuo sanguine:
Cujus una stilla salvum facere
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.
Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what Thy bosom ran
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.
Jesu, quem velatum nunc aspicio,
Oro, fiat illud quod tam sitio:
Ut te revelata cernens facie,
Visu sim beátus tuæ gloriæ. Amen
Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with Thy glory's sight. Amen.

Te Deum totius consolationis

Te Deum totius consolationis invoco,
qui nihil in nobis praeter tua dona cernis,
ut mihi post hujus vitae terminum donare digneris cognitionem primae veritatis,
fruitionem divinae majestatis. 
O God of all consolation, upon Thee I call,
Who seest in us nothing Thou hast not given,
That after the end of this life Thou might deign to grant the knowledge of Thee, First Truth,
and the fulfillment of Thy divine majesty.
Da etiam corpori meo,
largissime remunerator,
claritatis pulchritudinem,
agilitatis promptitudinem,
subtilitatis aptitudinem,
impassibilitatis fortitudinem. 
Fill up in my body,
Most bountiful Rewarder,
The beauty of light,
The agility of prompt obedience
The fine ability to do Thy will
The strength of indifference to harm.
Apponas istis
affluentiam divitiarum,
influentiam delitiarum,
confluentiam bonorum,
ut gaudere possim supra me de tua consolatione,
infra de loci amoenitate,
intra de corporis et animae glorificatione,
juxta de Angelorum et hominum delectabili associatione.
Add to these
The affluence of Thy riches,
The influx of all delights,
The gathering together of all that is good
That I may be able to have Thy consolation above me,
The pleasantness of what lies beneath me,
The glorification of body and soul within me, 
According to the delightful gathering of Angels and men about me. 
Consequatur apud te, clementissime pater,
in eo rationalis sapientiae illustrationem,
concupiscibilis desiderabilium adeptionem,
irascibilis triumphi laudem, 
ubi est, apud te
evasio periculorum,
distinctio mansionum,
concordia voluntatum,
ubi est
amoenitas vernalis,
luciditas aestivalis,
ubertas autumnalis,
et requies hiemalis.
May I obtain with Thee, merciful Father,
The enlightenment of wisdom for my mind,
The hunger for what is truly desirable,
The praise of triumph for my striving
Where there is, with Thee
The avoidance of all danger
The many mansions
Concord of the will
Where there is [with Thee]
The pleasantness of spring,
The radiance of summer
The fruitfulness of fall,
and the deep sleep of winter.
Da, domine Deus,
vitam sine morte,
gaudium sine dolore,
ubi est
summa libertas,
libera securitas,
secura tranquillitas,
jucunda felicitas,
felix aeternitas,
aeterna beatitudo,
veritatis visio,
atque laudatio, Deus.
Grant us, O Lord, God,
Life without death,
Joy without sorrow,
where there is
The fullness of Liberty,
Boundless security,
Secure tranquility,
Merry happiness
Joyful eternity,
Eternal blessedness
Vision of Truth
and praise, O God


Summa Theologica

Summa Theologica II-II, Q.180, a.1
I answer that, As stated above (179, 1) theirs is said to be the contemplative who are chiefly intent on the contemplation of truth. Now intention is an act of the will, as stated above (I-II, 12, 1), because intention is of the end which is the object of the will. Consequently the contemplative life, as regards the essence of the action, pertains to the intellect, but as regards the motive cause of the exercise of that action it belongs to the will, which moves all the other powers, even the intellect, to their actions, as stated above (I, 82, 4; I-II, 09, 1).

Now the appetitive power moves one to observe things either with the senses or with the intellect, sometimes for love of the thing seen because, as it is written (Matthew 6:21), "where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also," sometimes for love of the very knowledge that one acquires by observation. Wherefore Gregory makes the contemplative life to consist in the "love of God," inasmuch as through loving God we are aflame to gaze on His beauty. And since everyone delights when he obtains what he loves, it follows that the contemplative life terminates in delight, which is seated in the affective power, the result being that love also becomes more intense.

Summa Theologica II-II, Q.180, a.5

I answer that, As Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii, 27), "no one seeing God lives this mortal life wherein the bodily senses have their play: and unless in some way he depart this life, whether by going altogether out of his body, or by withdrawing from his carnal senses, he is not caught up into that vision." This has been carefully discussed above (175, 4 and 5), where we spoke of rapture, and in I, 12, 2, where we treated of the vision of God.

Accordingly we must state that one may be in this life in two ways. First, with regard to act, that is to say by actually making use of the bodily senses, and thus contemplation in the present life can nowise attain to the vision of God's essence. Secondly, one may be in this life potentially and not with regard to act, that is to say, when the soul is united to the mortal body as its form, yet so as to make use neither of the bodily senses, nor even of the imagination, as happens in rapture; and in this way the contemplation of the present life can attain to the vision of the Divine essence. Consequently the highest degree of contemplation in the present life is that which Paul had in rapture, whereby he was in a middle state between the present life and the life to come.

Summa Theologica II-II, Q.180, a.7

I answer that, There may be delight in any particular contemplation in two ways. First by reason of the operation itself [Cf. I-II, 03, 5, because each individual delights in the operation which befits him according to his own nature or habit. Now contemplation of the truth befits a man according to his nature as a rational animal: the result being that "all men naturally desire to know," so that consequently they delight in the knowledge of truth. And more delightful still does this become to one who has the habit of wisdom and knowledge, the result of which is that he contemplates without difficulty. Secondly, contemplation may be delightful on the part of its object, in so far as one contemplates that which one loves; even as bodily vision gives pleasure, not only because to see is pleasurable in itself, but because one sees a person whom one loves. Since, then, the contemplative life consists chiefly in the contemplation of God, of which charity is the motive, as stated above (1 and 2, ad 1), it follows that there is delight in the contemplative life, not only by reason of the contemplation itself, but also by reason of the Divine love.

In both respects the delight thereof surpasses all human delight, both because spiritual delight is greater than carnal pleasure, as stated above (I-II, 31, 5), when we were treating of the passions, and because the love whereby God is loved out of charity surpasses all love. Hence it is written (Psalm 33:9): "O taste and see that the Lord is sweet."


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