I am writing this on the feast of one of our most treasured Dominican saints, St Thomas Aquinas. He remains, almost 750 years after his death, one of the most important and influential Catholic theologians. My love for him stems, in part, because he practiced a key Dominican principle - seek the truth wherever it resides. His writings present both sides of an argument or question.
Thinking about Thomas got me thinking about words. Thomas wrote plenty of them. It was his ministry of study, contemplation and preaching. Yet at the end of his life, he considered them all "straw" compared to what he now understood about the truth of God's love.
Our world could use more folks like Thomas Aquinas. I listened to the words of our President on Inauguration Day and found much beauty and truth in them. And yet, watching the t.v. news, many had a vastly different take. Where does the truth reside? Would Thomas' approach be effective in Congress? How about in addressing situations of injustice, war and violence the world over?
It is so hard, in any situation, to listen carefully to the words of another, both spoken and unspoken. It's especially difficult when we are conversing with someone whose opinion does not entirely sync with ours.
Consider asking for God's grace to hear and understand the deep truth of what you are hearing or reading. Would it make a difference?
Anne Henkel, OP