st thomas aquinas quotes



[mer-i-tawr-ee-uh s, -tohr-] 

1. deserving praise, reward, esteem, etc.; praiseworthy:
    to receive a gift for meritorious service.

Meritorious is a good example of semantic amelioration. The Latin adjective meritōrius means “earning money, bringing in money, for hire.” Meritōrium is a noun use of this adjective and means “a room or place rented for a short time.” The plural of this noun meritōria means “house of prostitution, brothel.” Meritorious acquired a positive meaning in Middle English “entitling a person to a reward, especially a reward from God.” The word entered English in the first half of the 15th century.

“Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious
- St. Thomas Aquinas

Letter of St. Thomas Aquinas to Brother John on How to Study

Because you have asked me, my brother John, most dear to me in Christ, how to set about acquiring the treasure of knowledge, this is the advice I pass on to you: That you should choose to enter by the small rivers, and not go right away into the sea, because you should move from easy things to difficult things.

Such is therefore my advice on your way of life:

  • I suggest you be slow to speak, and slow to go to the room where people chat.
  • Embrace purity of conscience; do not stop making time for prayer.
  • Love to be in your room frequently, if you wish to be led to the wine cellar.
  • Show yourself to be likable to all, or at least try; but do not show yourself as too familiar with anyone; because too much familiarity breeds contempt, and will slow you in your studies; and don’t get involved in any way in the deeds and words of worldly people.
  • Above all, avoid idle conversation; do not forget to follow the steps of holy and approved men.
  • Never mind who says what, but commit to memory what is said that is true.
  • Work to understand what you read, and make yourself sure of doubtful points.
  • Put whatever you can into the cupboard of your mind as if you were trying to fill a cup.
  • “Seek not the things that are higher than you.”

Follow the steps of blessed Dominic, who produced useful and marvelous shoots, flowers and fruits in the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts for as long as life was his companion. If you follow these things, you will attain whatever you desire.

St. Thomas Aquinas was one day paying a visit to St. Bonaventure, and asked him from what book he had drawn all the beautiful lessons he had written. St. Bonaventure showed him the image of the Crucified, which was completely blackened by all the kisses that he had given it, and said, “This is my book whence I receive everything that I write; and it has taught me whatever little I know.”

“He who desires to go on advancing from virtue to virtue, from grace to grace, should meditate continually on the Passion of Jesus. There is no practice more profitable for the entire sanctification of the soul than the frequent meditation of the sufferings of Jesus Christ." St. Bonaventure

This, then, is the book—Jesus crucified—which, if we constantly read it, will teach us, on the one hand, to have a lively fear of sin, and, on the other hand, will inflame us with love for a God so full of love for us; while we read in these wounds the great malice of sin, which reduced a God to suffer so bitter a death in order to satisfy the divine justice, and the love which our Savior has shown us in choosing to suffer so much in order to prove to us how much he loved us.

Let us beseech the divine Mother Mary to obtain for us from her Son the grace that we also may enter into these furnaces of love, in which so many loving hearts are consumed, in order that, our earthly affections being there burned away, we also may burn with those blessed flames, which render souls holy on earth and blessed in heaven. Amen.

St. Alphonsus Liguori