Pope Francis meets with the participants of the 11th International Congress of Thomas Science, offering a way to study the master’s thinking. Before talking about St Thomas, the Pope pointed out, one needs to meditate, otherwise his power and greatness will be removed.
(Vatican News Network) Pope Francis received the participants of the 11th International Congress of Thomasology on September 22 in the Vatican’s Clement Hall. The Pope pointed out that the reflection on Saint Thomas is facing a master, not any wise man. The Thomas School has been in danger of exploiting the master, for example, when the interpretation of the master has led to the impression that he is a slave to “doubt.”
This International Congress of Domas is organized by the Pontifical Institute of St. Thomas, with the theme: “Complementing and Completing the Old with the New: A Resource of the Domas Tradition in Today’s Context” (Vetera novis augere. Le risorse della tradizione tomista nel contesto attuale). The Pope offered attendees a way to study the master’s mind.
The Pope said the first step is contemplation, so that his brilliant thoughts can enter our minds; the second step is humbly interpreting; the last step is interpreting very carefully. That is to say, “Never use the master for what I think, but think about things according to the master’s mind, and let the master’s mind interpret it”.
The Pope invites the scholars present at the Congress, “Before speaking of St. Thomas, before speaking of Thomas, and before lecturing, one needs to contemplate: the contemplative master, in addition to understanding his rational thought, also understands His experience and what he wants to say to us.” We must never reduce the master to a thinker, which would destroy his mind, “removing its power and life from it.”
“Saint Thomas is a light for the mind of the Church, and we must defend him from all these ‘intellectualist reductionisms’, which bind the vast ocean of his brilliant ideas,” the Pope said. “Thomasology should not be an exhibit in a museum, but a fountain of living water.”
Next year will be the 700th anniversary of the canonization of the great theologian, who, the Pope noted, is above all a saint, a faithful disciple of divine wisdom. “The Word of God that enters the heart needs to reach the intellect in order to ‘renew our way of thinking’ and to evaluate everything according to eternal wisdom”.
The Pope emphasized that a passionate search for God “should be prayer and contemplation at the same time. It can be said that St. Thomas is a model of theology that arises and grows in an atmosphere of worship. This search for God’s truth applies. The two ‘wings’ of faith and reason. We know that the way in which St. Thomas understood to reconcile the two lights of faith and reason remains exemplary.”
The Pope called the “double vital movement of systole and diastole” characteristic of Thomas’s studies, explaining that this was to capture the originality of Thomas’ work, in a critical way, that is to take the essence of its truth and justice, Integrate it into contemporary culture. Finally, the Pope encouraged the scholars of the Pontifical Institute of St. Thomas not to be afraid to “add and enrich the old and always fruitful with the new”.
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