January 28 is the Feast Day of St Thomas Aquinas. I reflected on a passage to commemorate the day, and came up with this passage that I think sums up much of Aquinas’ basic outlook:
‘To detract from the perfection of creatures is to detract from the perfection of the divine power. But if no creature has any action in the production of any effect, much is detracted from the perfection of the creature: for it marks the abundance of perfection to be able to communicate to another the perfection which one has oneself.’ ~ Summa Contra Gentiles, III.69
St Thomas certainly loved God, but he also dearly loved creation (and the study of it). This is typical of the ‘both/and’ tendency of Catholicism in general. This both/and love of Creator and creation (of God and man) is the best ground – in fact is the only possible ground for – humanism (and yes, I am intentionally baiting the SHAFT community here). As Pascal puts it, God gave men the ‘dignity of being causes’.