On Saint Thomas Aquinas

In appendix C of Anthony Esolen’s translation of Dante’s Paradisio, he remarks:

Scholars know of Thomas as the great synthesizer of Aristotelian thought and Christian doctrine, but the heart of the Angelic Doctor lay in his mystical contemplation of the person of Christ, especially as at once hidden and made manifest in the bread and wine of the Eucharist, the meal for men on earth that is a foretaste of the meal that is Paradise.

The eucharistic hymns of Aquinas, Chesterton’s biography of Aquinas, Dante’s Divine Comedy, and St Anselm’s writings all have relationships with Thomist philosophy. However, that philosophy/theology itself is outside the scope of my own booklist.

Adoro te devote
(Translation: Gerard Manley Hopkins S.J.)

Adoro te devote, latens Deitas,
Quæ sub his figuris vere latitas;
Tibi se cor meum totum subjicit,
Quia te contemplans totum deficit.
Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at Thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur,
Sed auditu solo tuto creditur.
Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius;
Nil hoc verbo veritátis verius.
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth Himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.
In cruce latebat sola Deitas,
At hic latet simul et Humanitas,
Ambo tamen credens atque confitens,
Peto quod petivit latro pœnitens.
On the cross Thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here Thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.
Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor:
Deum tamen meum te confiteor.
Fac me tibi semper magis credere,
In te spem habere, te diligere.
I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.
O memoriale mortis Domini!
Panis vivus, vitam præstans homini!
Præsta meæ menti de te vívere,
Et te illi semper dulce sapere.
O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.
Pie Pelicane, Jesu Domine,
Me immundum munda tuo sanguine:
Cujus una stilla salvum facere
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.
Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what Thy bosom ran
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.
Jesu, quem velatum nunc aspicio,
Oro, fiat illud quod tam sitio:
Ut te revelata cernens facie,
Visu sim beátus tuæ gloriæ. Amen
Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with Thy glory’s sight. Amen.

Te Deum totius consolationis

Te Deum totius consolationis invoco,
qui nihil in nobis praeter tua dona cernis,
ut mihi post hujus vitae terminum donare digneris cognitionem primae veritatis,
fruitionem divinae majestatis.
O God of all consolation, upon Thee I call,
Who seest in us nothing Thou hast not given,
That after the end of this life Thou might deign to grant the knowledge of Thee, First Truth,
and the fulfillment of Thy divine majesty.
Da etiam corpori meo,
largissime remunerator,
claritatis pulchritudinem,
agilitatis promptitudinem,
subtilitatis aptitudinem,
impassibilitatis fortitudinem.
Fill up in my body,
Most bountiful Rewarder,
The beauty of light,
The agility of prompt obedience
The fine ability to do Thy will
The strength of indifference to harm.
Apponas istis
affluentiam divitiarum,
influentiam delitiarum,
confluentiam bonorum,
ut gaudere possim supra me de tua consolatione,
infra de loci amoenitate,
intra de corporis et animae glorificatione,
juxta de Angelorum et hominum delectabili associatione.
Add to these
The affluence of Thy riches,
The influx of all delights,
The gathering together of all that is good
That I may be able to have Thy consolation above me,
The pleasantness of what lies beneath me,
The glorification of body and soul within me,
According to the delightful gathering of Angels and men about me.
Consequatur apud te, clementissime pater,
in eo rationalis sapientiae illustrationem,
concupiscibilis desiderabilium adeptionem,
irascibilis triumphi laudem,
ubi est, apud te
evasio periculorum,
distinctio mansionum,
concordia voluntatum,
ubi est
amoenitas vernalis,
luciditas aestivalis,
ubertas autumnalis,
et requies hiemalis.
May I obtain with Thee, merciful Father,
The enlightenment of wisdom for my mind,
The hunger for what is truly desirable,
The praise of triumph for my striving
Where there is, with Thee
The avoidance of all danger
The many mansions
Concord of the will
Where there is [with Thee]
The pleasantness of spring,
The radiance of summer
The fruitfulness of fall,
and the deep sleep of winter.
Da, domine Deus,
vitam sine morte,
gaudium sine dolore,
ubi est
summa libertas,
libera securitas,
secura tranquillitas,
jucunda felicitas,
felix aeternitas,
aeterna beatitudo,
veritatis visio,
atque laudatio, Deus.
Amen.
Grant us, O Lord, God,
Life without death,
Joy without sorrow,
where there is
The fullness of Liberty,
Boundless security,
Secure tranquility,
Merry happiness
Joyful eternity,
Eternal blessedness
Vision of Truth
and praise, O God
Amen.
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