Thursday, January 28, 2010


Today’s saint was born in Italy and educated by the Benedictines. In 1244 he decided to join the recently formed Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominicans. His parents vehemently opposed this plan and had his brothers imprison him in a castle where they tried to break his resolve with both temptations and punishments. Eventually Thomas escaped and his parents relented. He made his way to Paris and Cologne where he studied philosophy and theology with the most learned man of the time, St. Albert the Great. Though some called him a “dumb ox” because of his physical size and a shy, quiet personality, St. Albert declared that “the lowing of this dumb ox would be heard all over the world.” Indeed, because of his teaching and writing, St. Thomas Aquinas has often been called the greatest theologian of all time. When Pope Urban IV instituted the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ, he asked Thomas to compose hymns and prayers which continue to be used for benediction, holy hours, and Eucharistic adoration: Pange Lingua, O Salutaris Hostia, Tantum Ergo, and Adoro Te Devote.

Let us pray today that our love of the Holy Eucharist and Blessed Sacrament will grow and fill us with charity for our neighbor. May this love in turn help other Christians to believe in the Real Presence of Jesus and become one with the Catholic Church. As we pray, let us make a Spiritual Communion with these words:

Lord Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Eucharist and that when I receive Holy Communion I am receiving You, Your Body and Blood, your Soul and Divinity. I cannot receive You now, but I pray that You come to me spiritually with all the graces I need to never be separated from You by sin. Come to me spiritually so that I may always live in union with You and be a reflection of You to all the people who will see me this day. Amen.

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