Sermon in a Sentence: St. Thomas Aquinas (March 1, 2014)

“Faith introduces eternal life into us, for eternal life is nothing else than to know God. Thus our Lord said, “This is eternal life, to know Thee, the only true God.” This knowledge of God begins in us by faith, and is perfected in the life to come, when we shall know Him as He is.” –From “Sermon in a Sentence: A Treasury of Quotations on the Spiritual Life; Vol. 5: St. Thomas Aquinas”, pg. 122, Selected and Arranged by John P. McClernon.

***I just received this book from my godmother on the occasion of my Confirmation! So, in an effort to keep the commitment to read and reflect upon just one sermon-sentence a day, I am going to try to post my reflections each day. I hope that these little sentences are helpful to any of my readers out there! May God bless you all!

To think…great men such as St. Thomas Aquinas fulfilled their days on earth in the study and contemplation of the truths of the faith, the mysteries of God. This was their portion and happiness. How content, how happy we, too, would be, if we could find our chiefest and greatest happiness in this contemplation of the things of God! To find joy in them, we must first believe them and hold them to be true. It has been said that the moments here on earth where we are filled with the love of God and swept away, seemingly, to the heights of heaven, are few and far between. What if we could snatch this joy each day, by practicing the virtue of faith, thinking a little on these marvelous truths, on these bite-sized morsels of the truth? How might this change us? Even if for only a moment, a very small portion of our day, we could be completely absorbed in the things of God? Short time is the lot of many people who find themselves very busy in the service of God, in the secular life and otherwise. There are errands to be run, meals to be cooked and eaten, children to be raised and taught, papers to write, books to study, ensembles to practice for. But amidst all of these, if we could lay aside one precious moment to at least ingest a sentence such as the one above, a sentence of great value and worth, even if we are distracted or busy or distressed, we can snatch a moment of great peace by feeding our minds on these words. How great a joy to learn something new about God! How wonderful it is for the soul to advance towards perfection, be it an inch at a time! Even so little distance as a centimeter, the distance contemplating on a little sentence might cover, is of great value to the soul seeking God. Why not steal these opportunities while we can? We are, after all, only guaranteed the moment we are currently in. If one little sentence contains so much worth (and it contains as much worth as we wish to give it, should we truly feed our minds and souls on it!), why do we shun such a small little commitment? To read one little sermon sentence a day, to learn more and strengthen our faith in God, gives us a little foresight into what eternity will be–knowing God as He is! And this knowledge starts with faith–clinging to God’s truths that He has revealed to us–“and is perfected in the life to come.” Let us listen to Our Lord, Who tells us that our happiness, our eternal life, is to know God, and seek it in practicing the virtue of faith here in this life, that we may be found worthy of the perfection of it in the life to come. +Deo Gratias!+

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