January 28, 2013
Happy Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas (or, "is St. Thomas boring"?)!
The question whether "St. Thomas is boring" is asked and helpfully answered, here, by Br. Raymund Snyder, O.P. (natch). A taste:
Whether Thomas Aquinas is fittingly called boring?
Objection 1: It would seem that Thomas Aquinas is fittingly called boring. The works of Thomas are composed of impersonal statements and arguments, which are boring. Now, every agent acts in accordance with its nature to produce something like unto itself (omne agens agit sibi simile). Just as nothing can effect heat unless it is hot, so too no one can produce boring writings, unless he is boring. Hence it is seen that since Thomas’ works are boring, Thomas is fittingly called boring.
Objection 2: Thomas Aquinas is well known to have been of considerable girth. A man possesses phlegmatic humor in proportion to his size. The more phlegmatic a man’s disposition, the more he is perceived as dull, wearisome, and uninteresting. Thus, as a result of his girth, Thomas is fittingly called boring.
Objection 3: Those who are always correct in all things are annoying. Those who are annoying are also boring. Thus, Thomas, who is typically correct on account of the soundness of his reasoning and the brilliance of his intellect, is fittingly called boring. . . .
Q.E.D. and all that. Now, here's a painting of St. Thomas, in some hallway in the Vatican Museum, that I've always really liked. "Bene scriptisit de me Thoma." Indeed.
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