Founder of Word on Fire Bishop Robert Barron, who serves in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester (Minnesota), revealed the deep impact Saint Thomas Aquinas made on his vocation to the priesthood.
Saint Thomas Aquinas was a 13th-century Italian Dominican priest, author, and theologian. As a Doctor of the Church, his most notable work, “Summa Theologiae,” includes his five proofs for the existence of God, or “The Five Ways.”
In a recent statement, Bishop Barron said Saint Thomas Aquinas’ “rational demonstrations lit a fire in me that has yet to go out.” He added that he is a priest because God’s “grace came to me through the meditation of Thomas Aquinas.”
Here’s his story:
“When I was a 14-year-old freshman at Fenwick High School, I was privileged to hear from a young Dominican priest the arguments for God’s existence that Thomas Aquinas formulated in the 13th century. I don’t entirely know why, but hearing those rational demonstrations lit a fire in me that has yet to go out. They gave me a sense of the reality of God and thereby awakened in me a desire to serve God, to order my life radically toward him. I’m a priest because of God’s grace, but that grace came to me through the mediation of Thomas Aquinas.”
Bishop Barron also describes his experience in this video:
For those unfamiliar with Saint Thomas Aquinas’ five proofs of the existence of God, Father James Brent, O.P., of The Thomistic Institute breaks down the proofs in this video.
The five proofs include motion, efficient cause, necessary being, gradation, and design.
“Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you. Amen.” – Saint Thomas Aquinas