Saturday, July 3, 2004

Christian Heritage - July 3 - Thomas, the Apostle

"How admirable the insight of the man! He touches a man and calls him God. One thing he touched; another he believed. If he had written a thousand books, he would not have given as much help to the Church. How openly, how faithfully, how clearly he calls Christ God! Most useful and most necessary to the Church of God indeed to utter that word. A word by which many and most powerful heresies were extirpated from the Church. Peter had been praised because he had said: You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Thomas exclaimed more explicitly: My Lord and my God. He thereby professed both natures in Christ.

"You became a believer because you saw me. Blest are they who have not seen and have believed. Those words are a great consolation for us every time we say, every time we proclaim: O blessed eyes! O blessed times! O blessed ages, which deserved to witness and examine such great mysteries! This is true, for the Lord said: Blest are the eyes that see what you see, but he also said: Blest are they who have not seen and have believed. The first gave more consolation; the latter was more meritorious. Seeing increases gladness, but faith without seeing gives greater glorification."

Thomas of Villanova, O.S.A. (AD 1486 - 1555), Dominca in Albis 1-2: Opera Omnia II, 316

Thomas, an Augustinian friar and archbishop of Valencia, became known as the Beggar Bishop and father of the poor for his devotion to the poor.

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