Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Common Doctor: Thomas Aquinas

We Ourselves find so justified the magnificent tributes of praise bestowed on this truly divine genius, that We think it proper to call, not only the Angelic Doctor, but also the Common or Universal Doctor of the Church, him whose doctrines the Church has made her own, as so many documents of every kind show. Studiorum Ducem

It's the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas today and I'm hoping this means I'll be able to finish a reflection on a prayer attributed to the sainted scholar and doctor.  In the course of working on the piece, I discovered what may be the only website entirely in Latin (even the copyright notice!).  The site provides research materials and some quite wonderful digital tools for working with the Thomistic corpus. It is in Latin, according to the introduction, because if you are scholar working on Thomas you obviously read Latin.  The Index Thomisticus, originally developed by Roberto Busa SJ, was of great help as I tried to track down the original Latin text of the prayer (which may or may not have been written by Aquinas).

In the course of my reading Paul Murray OP's Aquinas at Prayer, I discovered the prayer Concede mihi...which I had not encountered before:

GRANT me, O merciful God, to desire eagerly, to investigate prudently, to acknowledge sincerely, and to fulfill perfectly those things that are pleasing to you, for the praise and glory of your holy Name.

O my God, order my life, and grant that I may know what you will have me to do; and grant that I may fulfill it as is fitting and profitable to my soul.

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