St. Thomas Aquinas is best known for being the Church’s greatest theologian. He wrote two “Summas” of theology which have been of tremendous importance to the Church ever since his the 13th century. But he was a man who was immersed in Sacred Scripture as well — he wrote many commentaries on different books of the Bible which are extremely important as well. He was also a man steeped in Sacred Tradition: you can hardly read a page of his writings without finding multiple references to the writings of the Church Fathers. But St. Thomas was also a man who was filled with Love for Christ Jesus. This love led him to reject the worldly ways of his family, even when they imprisoned him in their castle to prevent him from entering religious life. His brothers actually sent a prostitute into his room to try to seduce him and break down his commitment to chastity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Did that stop St. Thomas? Did that lead him away from his love for Christ? NO! St. Thomas chased the prostitute out of his room with a brand taken from the fireplace!
St. Thomas was a man who was totally in love with Christ hidden in the Holy Eucharist. He spent many hours in prayer and contemplation before our Eucharistic Lord. And some of the most beautiful Eucharistic hymns that we have as Catholics were written by this great saint. I’d like to share one of my favorites with you: it is a great prayer of praise and love, and would be very suitable for meditating on the Holy Eucharist, especially during your weekly hour of adoration.
Adoro te Devote
1. Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
2. Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.
3. On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.
4. I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.
5. O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.
6. Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what thy bosom ran—
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.
7. Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with thy glory’s sight.