Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Beautiful Minds

Recently I learned that Fr. Henri Boulad, S.J. has just celebrated 50 years of priesthood. What a magnificent contribution has he made in communicating and writing in quite a number of fields of knowledge and, above all, in reaching out in his missionary work to those strangers to faith, to us of little faith, and to the little ones and forgotten. His powerful sermons and retreats remind us of such passionate preachers as St. John Chrysostom and Jean-Baptiste Lacordaire.

The giants in thought and deed have been with us since time immemorial. A rough sketch of some great contributors to the development of knowledge would definitely include Confucius, Gautama Buddha, Plato, Aristotle, Solomon the author of Biblical "Wisdom", St. Paul, Origen, St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Athanasius, St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Maximus Confessor, St. John Damascene, St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Gertrude, St. Albert the Great, Pascal, Descartes, Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Ignatius of Loyola, John Henri Newman, Charles Darwin, Teilhard de Chardin, Karl Rahner, Henri de Lubac, Pope John Paul II, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Erwin Schrodinger, Werner Heisenberg, Edward Witten, Peter Higgs, Manfred Eigen, Stephen Hawking, Carl Jung, Jean Piaget, Antonio Damasio, Steven Pinker, Jaroslav Pelikan, Mircea Eliade, René Girard, Andrew McAfee, Samuel Huntington and many more.

However the rough list could not be complete without mentioning the "Angelic Doctor" Saint Thomas Aquinas. First, the volumes of thought he wrote and taught in Europe's 13th century universities are such an immense undertaking that squarely places him as an encyclopedia over his learned contemporaries. Second, Thomas was responsible for inaugurating the scientific exploration of nature based on his synthesis of Aristotle's thought with Christian thought. In his eloquent book "The Passion  of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View" Richard Tarnas recalls St. Thomas significant contribution to the development of civilizations. Third, among the great thinkers, St. Thomas is a formidable mystic too. Shortly before his death, he was praying after Mass and dared to enter his head into the tabernacle out of such abiding love for Jesus. There Thomas had a sudden vision and said afterwards that all what he wrote was a "straw" compared to what was revealed to him in the tabernacle. He stopped dictating any more work and died a humble holy person on his way to the Council of Lyons.

Beautiful minds are not only those of great philosophers or scientists, but also those imaginative minds of inspired artists, writers and musicians because they communicate the beauty of the work of God to fellow creatures. But above all, beautiful minds are those of ordinary people that in their everyday struggles they never lose hope of love...Beautiful are those that care about their families, friends, colleagues, citizens and enemies too as did Nelson Mandela in South Africa in imitation of Christ.

Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


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