"What is the significance of Thomism in our own era? Why be a Thomist today? The answers presented here serve only as a thumbnail sketch, a little charter regarding the challenges of evangelization—the new evangelization in the Church today and why St. Thomas’s theology is so vital for this task. I am going to give six brief points as to why Thomism matters.
I remember talking to a young priest many years ago after we had done some evangelization in England for a weekend retreat, and he said to me, “You know it’s funny how much of the battle is in the mind.” What he meant was that we think the struggle for the Catholic faith is primarily in the heart—that conversion is in the heart. Of course, a lot of the battle is in the heart—to discover Christ, to give ourselves to God, to consent, to surrender, to trust, to love, to find peace; but it is also the case that half the battle is in the mind. And that means that actually, a lot of the message of the Church regarding human happiness is about the intellect—intellectual happiness. How does the intellect provide for our deepest happiness? By giving us ultimate perspective. If you know where your true good lies, you can love that good, and in loving that good, you can remain at peace, even in the midst of the storms of life."
A new booklet from fr Thomas Joseph White OP, Director of the Thomistic Institute in Washington DC begins in this way, and it is being offered online in PDF format as a resource particularly for University students. In an increasingly secular age, the truth expounded by St Thomas Aquinas can help re-orientate us and chart a way forward for those seeking true perspective, happiness and meaning in life. In our Jubilee year, the Order has been blessed by God to have in St Thomas a distinctive gift to the Church and to the world: the perennial philosophy of St Thomas, who thus remains the 'common doctor' of the Church. This short booklet explains why, and it can be downloaded freely from here and shared widely.
(17 January 2016)