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Pints With Aquinas

If you could sit down with St. Thomas Aquinas over a pint of beer and ask him any one question, what would it be? Every episode of Pints With Aquinas revolves around a question, a question that St. Thomas addresses in his most famous work, The Summa Theologica. So get your geek on, pull up a bar stool, and grab a cold one. Here we go!
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Nov 12, 2019

Today we look at what Aquinas had to say on the line from the creed, "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth."

We also take a look at a section of the Summa in which Thomas gives three arguments against the belief in many gods.

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Nov 5, 2019

Today I chat with Fr. Gregory Pine about the morality (or immorality) of pot.

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Nov 4, 2019

Wow! Today me and Cammie (the Mrs.) answer your questions. Hope you enjoy ... even though it has exactly nothing to do with Thomas Aquinas.

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Oct 29, 2019

Over the course of the next few months we are going to go through Thomas Aquinas' commentary on the apostles creed. 

Today we take a look Thomas' prologue in which Thomas discusses 4 goods that faith brings about. You can read text of that here.

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Oct 25, 2019

Today I take a look at what Aquinas had to say about correcting our Christian friends (and leaders ... like the Pope and stuff ... {crickets} ...)

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Here's what I read from the ST II-II, Q. 33.

Article 1. Whether fraternal correction is an act of charity?

On the contrary, To correct the wrongdoer is a spiritual almsdeed. But almsdeeds are works of charity, as stated above (II-II:32:1). Therefore fraternal correction is an act of charity.

I answer that, The correction of the wrongdoer is a remedy which should be employed against a man's sin. Now a man's sin may be considered in two ways, first as being harmful to the sinner, secondly as conducing to the harm of others, by hurting or scandalizing them, or by being detrimental to the common good, the justice of which is disturbed by that man's sin.

Consequently the correction of a wrongdoer is twofold, one which applies a remedy to the sin considered as an evil of the sinner himself. This is fraternal correction properly so called, which is directed to the amendment of the sinner. Now to do away with anyone's evil is the same as to procure his good: and to procure a person's good is an act of charity, whereby we wish and do our friend well. Consequently fraternal correction also is an act of charity, because thereby we drive out our brother's evil, viz. sin, the removal of which pertains to charity rather than the removal of an external loss, or of a bodily injury, in so much as the contrary good of virtue is more akin to charity than the good of the body or of external things. Therefore fraternal correction is an act of charity rather than the healing of a bodily infirmity, or the relieving of an external bodily need. There is another correction which applies a remedy to the sin of the wrongdoer, considered as hurtful to others, and especially to the common good. This correction is an act of justice, whose concern it is to safeguard the rectitude of justice between one man and another.

 

Article 4. Whether a man is bound to correct his prelate?


Objection 1. It would seem that no man is bound to correct his prelate. For it is written (Exodus 19:12): "The beast that shall touch the mount shall be stoned," [Vulgate: 'Everyone that shall touch the mount, dying he shall die.'] and (2 Samuel 6:7) it is related that the Lord struck Oza for touching the ark. Now the mount and the ark signify our prelates. Therefore prelates should not be corrected by their subjects.

Objection 2. Further, a gloss on Galatians 2:11, "I withstood him to the face," adds: "as an equal." Therefore, since a subject is not equal to his prelate, he ought not to correct him.

Objection 3. Further, Gregory says (Moral. xxiii, 8) that "one ought not to presume to reprove the conduct of holy men, unless one thinks better of oneself." But one ought not to think better of oneself than of one's prelate. Therefore one ought not to correct one's prelate.

On the contrary, Augustine says in his Rule: "Show mercy not only to yourselves, but also to him who, being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger." But fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected.

I answer that, A subject is not competent to administer to his prelate the correction which is an act of justice through the coercive nature of punishment: but the fraternal correction which is an act of charity is within the competency of everyone in respect of any person towards whom he is bound by charity, provided there be something in that person which requires correction.

Now an act which proceeds from a habit or power extends to whatever is contained under the object of that power or habit: thus vision extends to all things comprised in the object of sight. Since, however, a virtuous act needs to be moderated by due circumstances, it follows that when a subject corrects his prelate, he ought to do so in a becoming manner, not with impudence and harshness, but with gentleness and respect. Hence the Apostle says (1 Timothy 5:1): "An ancient man rebuke not, but entreat him as a father." Wherefore Dionysius finds fault with the monk Demophilus (Ep. viii), for rebuking a priest with insolence, by striking and turning him out of the church.

Reply to Objection 1. It would seem that a subject touches his prelate inordinately when he upbraids him with insolence, as also when he speaks ill of him: and this is signified by God's condemnation of those who touched the mount and the ark.

Reply to Objection 2. To withstand anyone in public exceeds the mode of fraternal correction, and so Paul would not have withstood Peter then, unless he were in some way his equal as regards the defense of the faith. But one who is not an equal can reprove privately and respectfully. Hence the Apostle in writing to the Colossians (4:17) tells them to admonish their prelate: "Say to Archippus: Fulfil thy ministry [Vulgate: 'Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.' Cf. 2 Timothy 4:5." It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter's subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, "Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects."

Reply to Objection 3. To presume oneself to be simply better than one's prelate, would seem to savor of presumptuous pride; but there is no presumption in thinking oneself better in some respect, because, in this life, no man is without some fault. We must also remember that when a man reproves his prelate charitably, it does not follow that he thinks himself any better, but merely that he offers his help to one who, "being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger," as Augustine observes in his Rule quoted above.

Oct 22, 2019

Today I sit down with Fr. Gregory Pine to discuss the doctrine of divine simplicity. We also take a look at some of Dr. William Lane Craig's objections to the doctrine.

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Oct 15, 2019

Today I sit down with Fr. Dominic Legge to discuss what Aquinas said about the transfiguration of Christ.

 

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Here's what we were reading from today: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4045.htm

Oct 8, 2019

Today I chat with Fr. Gregory Pine about 7 ways people often misunderstand Thomas Aquinas

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Oct 1, 2019

Today I discuss what prayer is, three obstacles I experience when praying, how to develop a prayer rule of life, and 3 reasons Aquinas says we should pray out loud.

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It is not essential to such a prayer as this that it be vocal. And yet the voice is employed in such like prayers for three reasons. First, in order to excite interior devotion, whereby the mind of the person praying is raised to God, because by means of external signs, whether of words or of deeds, the human mind is moved as regards apprehension, and consequently also as regards the affections. Hence Augustine says (ad Probam. Ep. cxxx, 9) that "by means of words and other signs we arouse ourselves more effectively to an increase of holy desires." Hence then alone should we use words and such like signs when they help to excite the mind internally. But if they distract or in any way impede the mind we should abstain from them; and this happens chiefly to those whose mind is sufficiently prepared for devotion without having recourse to those signs. Wherefore the Psalmist (Psalm 26:8) said: "My heart hath said to Thee: 'My face hath sought Thee,'" and we read of Anna (1 Samuel 1:13) that "she spoke in her heart." Secondly, the voice is used in praying as though to pay a debt, so that man may serve God with all that he has from God, that is to say, not only with his mind, but also with his body: and this applies to prayer considered especially as satisfactory. Hence it is written (Hosea 14:3): "Take away all iniquity, and receive the good: and we will render the calves of our lips." Thirdly, we have recourse to vocal prayer, through a certain overflow from the soul into the body, through excess of feeling, according to Psalm 15:9, "My heart hath been glad, and my tongue hath rejoiced." - Read the rest here.

Suggestions for a daily prayer routine

Stage 1: Morning offering before your feet hit the floor + Rosary or Jesus Prayer during the day + Examination of conscience at night.

Stage 2: Morning offering before your feet hit the floor + 10 min scripture reading in the morning + Rosary or Jesus Prayer during the day + Examination of conscience at night.

Stage 3: Morning offering before your feet hit the floor + 10 min Scripture reading in the morning + Rosary or Jesus Prayer during the day + 3 Our Fathers, 3 Hail Mary’s, 3 Glory Be’s in front of the Blessed Sacrament + Examination of conscience at night.
Matt

Sep 24, 2019

Hey! Today I chat with Emily Sullivan about the marital debt! And no, we're not talking about money.

... Do not listen if you have kids around.

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Here's a little of what Aquinas had to say about the marital debt. Click the link below to get the full context:

On the contrary, As the slave is in the power of his master, so is one spouse in the power of the other (1 Corinthians 7:4). But a slave is bound by an obligation of precept to pay his master the debt of his service according to Romans 13:7, "Render . . . to all men their dues, tribute to whom tribute is due," etc. Therefore husband and wife are mutually bound to the payment of the marriage debt.

Further, marriage is directed to the avoiding of fornication (1 Corinthians 7:2). But this could not be the effect of marriage, if the one were not bound to pay the debt to the other when the latter is troubled with concupiscence. Therefore the payment of the debt is an obligation of precept.

I answer that, Marriage was instituted especially as fulfilling an office of nature. Wherefore in its act the movement of nature must be observed according to which the nutritive power administers to the generative power that alone which is in excess of what is required for the preservation of the individual: for the natural order requires that a thing should be first perfected in itself, and that afterwards it should communicate of its perfection to others: and this is also the order of charity which perfects nature. And therefore, since the wife has power over her husband only in relation to the generative power and not in relation to things directed to the preservation of the individual, the husband is bound to pay the debt to his wife, in matters pertaining to the begetting of children, with due regard however to his own welfare.

Summa, Suppl. Q. 64, A. 1. (see full question here).

Sep 17, 2019

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Sep 10, 2019

Today I sit down with Fr. Gregory Pine to discuss the passions once more. This is really a two part series so we encourage you, if you haven't already, to go and listen to last week's episode before listening to this one. That said, you'll get a lot out of this one regardless.

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Sep 3, 2019

Today Fr. Pine and I begin a two part series on Aquinas' understanding of the passions.

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Thanks!

Aug 27, 2019

Today we're going to talk with Aquinas about backbiting, slander, and calumny.

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We're reading from the Secunda Secundae, Q. 73. A. 1;4.

On the contrary, It is written (Ecclesiastes 10:11): "If a serpent bite in silence, he is nothing better that backbiteth."

I answer that, Just as one man injures another by deed in two ways—openly, as by robbery or by doing him any kind of violence—and secretly, as by theft, or by a crafty blow, so again one man injures another by words in two ways—in one way, openly, and this is done by reviling him, as stated above (II-II:72:1)—and in another way secretly, and this is done by backbiting. Now from the fact that one man openly utters words against another man, he would appear to think little of him, so that for this reason he dishonors him, so that reviling is detrimental to the honor of the person reviled. On the other hand, he that speaks against another secretly, seems to respect rather than slight him, so that he injures directly, not his honor but his good name, in so far as by uttering such words secretly, he, for his own part, causes his hearers to have a bad opinion of the person against whom he speaks. For the backbiter apparently intends and aims at being believed. It is therefore evident that backbiting differs from reviling in two points: first, in the way in which the words are uttered, the reviler speaking openly against someone, and the backbiter secretly; secondly, as to the end in view, i.e. as regards the injury inflicted, the reviler injuring a man's honor, the backbiter injuring his good name.

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On the contrary, Jerome says (Ep. ad Nepot. lii): "Take care not to have an itching tongue, nor tingling ears, that is, neither detract others nor listen to backbiters."

I answer that, According to the Apostle (Romans 1:32), they "are worthy of death . . . not only they that" commit sins, "but they also that consent to them that do them." Now this happens in two ways. First, directly, when, to wit, one man induces another to sin, or when the sin is pleasing to him: secondly, indirectly, that is, if he does not withstand him when he might do so, and this happens sometimes, not because the sin is pleasing to him, but on account of some human fear.

Accordingly we must say that if a man list ens to backbiting without resisting it, he seems to consent to the backbiter, so that he becomes a participator in his sin. And if he induces him to backbite, or at least if the detraction be pleasing to him on account of his hatred of the person detracted, he sins no less than the detractor, and sometimes more. Wherefore Bernard says (De Consid. ii, 13): "It is difficult to say which is the more to be condemned the backbiter or he that listens to backbiting." If however the sin is not pleasing to him, and he fails to withstand the backbiter, through fear negligence, or even shame, he sins indeed, but much less than the backbiter, and, as a rule venially. Sometimes too this may be a mortal sin, either because it is his official duty to cor. rect the backbiter, or by reason of some consequent danger; or on account of the radical reason for which human fear may sometimes be a mortal sin, as stated above (II-II:19:3).

Aug 20, 2019

This is the first part in a three part series on happiness. Buckle up! We take you into the writings of Aquinas and show how his advice can help you today.

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Read what Aquinas has to say on happiness here: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2002.htm

Aug 15, 2019

Click here to listen to Munificentissimus Deus, by Pope Pius XII (PATRONS ONLY)

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Happy feast of the assumption of Mary, y’all!

Today I talk a little about the assumption of Mary. I respond to what Protestant apologist Norm Geisler has to say regarding Aquinas and the dogma of the assumption.

And then (….drum roll….), I share a portion of a brand new audio book, Pope Pius XII’s apostolic constitution in which he defines as dogma Mary’s assumption into Heaven

Aug 13, 2019

This is the first part in a three part series on happiness. Buckle up! We take you into the writings of Aquinas and show how his advice can help you today.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon, here.

Read what Aquinas has to say on happiness here: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2002.htm

Aug 6, 2019

This is the first part in a three part series on happiness. Buckle up! We take you into the writings of Aquinas and show how his advice can help you today.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon, here.

Some of Aquinas' text:

Article 1. Whether happiness is something uncreated?

Objection 1. It would seem that happiness is something uncreated. For Boethius says (De Consol. iii): "We must needs confess that God is happiness itself."

Objection 2. Further, happiness is the supreme good. But it belongs to God to be the supreme good. Since, then, there are not several supreme goods, it seems that happiness is the same as God.

Objection 3. Further, happiness is the last end, to which man's will tends naturally. But man's will should tend to nothing else as an end, but to God, Who alone is to be enjoyed, as Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 5,22). Therefore happiness is the same as God.

On the contrary, Nothing made is uncreated. But man's happiness is something made; because according to Augustine (De Doctr. Christ. i, 3): "Those things are to be enjoyed which make us happy." Therefore happiness is not something uncreated.

I answer that, As stated above (I-II:1:8; I-II:2:7), our end is twofold. First, there is the thing itself which we desire to attain: thus for the miser, the end is money. Secondly there is the attainment or possession, the use or enjoyment of the thing desired; thus we may say that the end of the miser is the possession of money; and the end of the intemperate man is to enjoy something pleasurable. In the first sense, then, man's last end is the uncreated good, namely, God, Who alone by His infinite goodness can perfectly satisfy man's will. But in the second way, man's last end is something created, existing in him, and this is nothing else than the attainment or enjoyment of the last end. Now the last end is called happiness. If, therefore, we consider man's happiness in its cause or object, then it is something uncreated; but if we consider it as to the very essence of happiness, then it is something created.

Reply to Objection 1. God is happiness by His Essence: for He is happy not by acquisition or participation of something else, but by His Essence. On the other hand, men are happy, as Boethius says (De Consol. iii), by participation; just as they are called "gods," by participation. And this participation of happiness, in respect of which man is said to be happy, is something created.

Reply to Objection 2. Happiness is called man's supreme good, because it is the attainment or enjoyment of the supreme good.

Reply to Objection 3. Happiness is said to be the last end, in the same way as the attainment of the end is called the end.

Jul 30, 2019

Sup gang, please consider becoming a patron here to support all of this work I'm doing at PWA at The Matt Fradd Show.

Wow! What a fascinating discussion. I sat down with Dr. Francis Beckwith, professor of philosophy at Baylor University, about something he has spent a lot of time thinking and writing about lately, whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God. He has, I think, a very nuanced and convincing argument.

* Check out Dr. Beckwith's new book, Never Doubt Thomas

Jul 24, 2019

In this episode of TMFS I talk to Dr. Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, about his conversion to the Catholic faith, why he loves Thomas Aquinas, his thoughts about Pope Francis, Dostoevsky (obviously) and the best arguments for God and atheism ... and much else besides.
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Jul 23, 2019

Today is the second in a two part series on the incarnation I recorded with Fr. Gregory Pine. If you haven't heard the first episode, maybe go and do that first. Not telling you what to do. Just a suggestion. But if you don't do it you're a bad person.

ALSO, I'd like to bring Fr. Gregory Pine on to PWA every other week. To make that happen we need more patrons. Please help this happen by going to https://www.patreon.com/mattfradd

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Here's what we read today:

So also was this useful for our "withdrawal from evil."

First, because man is taught by it not to prefer the devil to himself, nor to honor him who is the author of sin; hence Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, 17): "Since human nature is so united to God as to become one person, let not these proud spirits dare to prefer themselves to man, because they have no bodies."

Secondly, because we are thereby taught how great is man's dignity, lest we should sully it with sin; hence Augustine says (De Vera Relig. xvi): "God has proved to us how high a place human nature holds amongst creatures, inasmuch as He appeared to men as a true man." And Pope Leo says in a sermon on the Nativity (xxi): "Learn, O Christian, thy worth; and being made a partner of the Divine nature, refuse to return by evil deeds to your former worthlessness."

Thirdly, because, "in order to do away with man's presumption, the grace of God is commended in Jesus Christ, though no merits of ours went before," as Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, 17).

Fourthly, because "man's pride, which is the greatest stumbling-block to our clinging to God, can be convinced and cured by humility so great," as Augustine says in the same place.

Fifthly, in order to free man from the thraldom of sin, which, as Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, 13), "ought to be done in such a way that the devil should be overcome by the justice of the man Jesus Christ," and this was done by Christ satisfying for us. Now a mere man could not have satisfied for the whole human race, and God was not bound to satisfy; hence it behooved Jesus Christ to be both God and man. Hence Pope Leo says in the same sermon: "Weakness is assumed by strength, lowliness by majesty, mortality by eternity, in order that one and the same Mediator of God and men might die in one and rise in the other—for this was our fitting remedy. Unless He was God, He would not have brought a remedy; and unless He was man, He would not have set an example."

And there are very many other advantages which accrued, above man's apprehension.

Jul 16, 2019

Today is the first in a two part series on the incarnation I recorded with Fr. Gregory Pine.

I'd like to bring Fr. Gregory Pine on to PWA every other week. To make that happen we need 40 more patrons. Please help this happen by going to https://www.patreon.com/mattfradd

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Here's what we read today:

 

On the contrary, What frees the human race from perdition is necessary for the salvation of man. But the mystery of Incarnation is such; according to John 3:16: "God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting." Therefore it was necessary for man's salvation that God should become incarnate.

I answer that, A thing is said to be necessary for a certain end in two ways. First, when the end cannot be without it; as food is necessary for the preservation of human life. Secondly, when the end is attained better and more conveniently, as a horse is necessary for a journey. In the first way it was not necessary that God should become incarnate for the restoration of human nature. For God with His omnipotent power could have restored human nature in many other ways. But in the second way it was necessary that God should become incarnate for the restoration of human nature. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. xii, 10): "We shall also show that other ways were not wanting to God, to Whose power all things are equally subject; but that there was not a more fitting way of healing our misery."

Now this may be viewed with respect to our "furtherance in good."

First, with regard to faith, which is made more certain by believing God Himself Who speaks; hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xi, 2): "In order that man might journey more trustfully toward the truth, the Truth itself, the Son of God, having assumed human nature, established and founded faith."

Secondly, with regard to hope, which is thereby greatly strengthened; hence Augustine says (De Trin. xiii): "Nothing was so necessary for raising our hope as to show us how deeply God loved us. And what could afford us a stronger proof of this than that the Son of God should become a partner with us of human nature?"

Thirdly, with regard to charity, which is greatly enkindled by this; hence Augustine says (De Catech. Rudib. iv): "What greater cause is there of the Lord's coming than to show God's love for us?" And he afterwards adds: "If we have been slow to love, at least let us hasten to love in return."

Fourthly, with regard to well-doing, in which He set us an example; hence Augustine says in a sermon (xxii de Temp.): "Man who might be seen was not to be followed; but God was to be followed, Who could not be seen. And therefore God was made man, that He Who might be seen by man, and Whom man might follow, might be shown to man."

Fifthly, with regard to the full participation of the Divinity, which is the true bliss of man and end of human life; and this is bestowed upon us by Christ's humanity; for Augustine says in a sermon (xiii de Temp.): "God was made man, that man might be made God."

Jul 9, 2019

Today I interview Sr. Mary Madeline Todd about how to have hope in the midst of scandal. 

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Jul 2, 2019

Today I discuss 10 bad arguments for atheism! Enjoy!

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Three cool things we want to do are:

1. Bring Fr. Gregory Pine on PWA twice a month.

2. Create a PWA app.

3. Record 2 episodes of the MFS every month!

Here are the objections I address:

1. Who created God?

2. You’re only a Christian because you were raised one.

3. Flying spaghetti monster / God of the gaps.

4. I don’t have an onus of proof.

5. Science can’t demonstrate God’s existence.

6. Can God create a rock so heavy that he can’t lift it.

7. Christians are hypocrites.

8. Maybe there’s a first cause but that doesn’t prove christianity.

9. The Bible is filled with contradictions.

10. I believe in one less God than you.



  1. It’s arrogant for you to think you’re rig
Jun 25, 2019

Today I sit down with Kevin Vost to discuss Aquinas' advice on how to study better.

We also listen to a brand new awesome song by the one and only Emma Fradd.

Get Kevin's new book How To Think Like Aquinas

Become a patron here. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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LETTER OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS TO BROTHER JOHN ON HOW TO STUDY

Because you have asked me, my brother John, most dear to me in Christ, how to set about acquiring the treasure of knowledge, this is the advice I pass on to you: That you should choose to enter by the small rivers, and not go right away into the sea, because you should move from easy things to difficult things.

Such is therefore my advice on your way of life:

  • I suggest you be slow to speak, and slow to go to the room where people chat.
  • Embrace purity of conscience; do not stop making time for prayer.
  • Love to be in your room frequently, if you wish to be led to the wine cellar.
  • Show yourself to be likable to all, or at least try; but do not show yourself as too familiar with anyone; because too much familiarity breeds contempt, and will slow you in your studies; and don’t get involved in any way in the deeds and words of worldly people.
  • Above all, avoid idle conversation; do not forget to follow the steps of holy and approved men.
  • Never mind who says what, but commit to memory what is said that is true.
  • Work to understand what you read, and make yourself sure of doubtful points.
  • Put whatever you can into the cupboard of your mind as if you were trying to fill a cup.
  • “Seek not the things that are higher than you.”

Follow the steps of blessed Dominic, who produced useful and marvelous shoots, flowers and fruits in the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts for as long as life was his companion. If you follow these things, you will attain whatever you desire.

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