Aquinas celebrates how the Holy Spirit is alive and active, inspiring us as we in bring forth truths in our work and professions and relationships. He speaks of our relationship with other species because they, too, speak truth to us. They too are logos, the word of God, and all beings are another Christ, a Cosmic Christ.
Thus, our meditation on nature opens up the divine to us–“one meditates on creation in order to view and marvel at divine wisdom.” Citing the psalmist who sings, “I meditate on all your works, I muse on the work of your hands” (Ps 143:5), Aquinas comments that since “all creatures confess that they are made by God,” it is our job as humans to examine creatures for the revelation of the divine that they carry within them.
Birds and cattle he recognizes as carriers of wisdom: “Jesus teaches us to avoid anxiety by considering the birds of the sky, since there is wisdom from them. Also in Job we read, ‘Ask the cattle and they will teach you’ (Job 12:7).”
All of creation is eager to reveal the divine mystery. It follows that “there can be no question that to study creatures is to build up one’s Christian faith.” To run from science or put science down is an affront to authentic faith because
…the opinion is false of those who assert that it makes no difference to the truth of the faith what anyone holds about creatures, so long as one thinks rightly about God. For error about creatures spills over into false opinion about God, and take peoples’ minds away from God, to whom faith seeks to lead them.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, pp. 17f.
See also, Matthew Fox, Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas, pp. 59, 78, 80f., 75.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner image: “Eagle Vision Quest” Image by Linda Rain 714 on Flickr.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you experience birds and cattle as carriers of wisdom and therefore of the divine? What other beings do you experience as carriers of wisdom and “words of God”?
The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times
A stunning spiritual handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of Aquinas’ mystical/prophetic genius, offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
Foreword by Ilia Delio.
“What a wonderful book! Only Matt Fox could bring to life the wisdom and brilliance of Aquinas with so much creativity. The Tao of Thomas Aquinas is a masterpiece.”
–Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit
Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality
Matthew Fox renders Thomas Aquinas accessible by interviewing him and thus descholasticizing him. He also translated many of his works such as Biblical commentaries never before in English (or Italian or German of French). He gives Aquinas a forum so that he can be heard in our own time. He presents Thomas Aquinas entirely in his own words, but in a form designed to allow late 20th-century minds and hearts to hear him in a fresh way.
“The teaching of Aquinas comes through will a fullness and an insight that has never been present in English before and [with] a vital message for the world today.” ~ Fr. Bede Griffiths (Afterword).
Foreword by Rupert Sheldrake