FEAST OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS:
‘Our mission is to be faithful, not successful’

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SUCCESS will follow if we prioritize God and work on building our faith.

This was the message of Fr. Rudolf Steven Seño, O.P. of the UST Ecclesiastical Faculty of Philosophy during the University Mass for the solemnity of St. Thomas Aquinas, UST’s patron saint, on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at the St. Dominic de Guzman Chapel.

“Our mission is not to be successful; rather, it is to be faithful. If you are faithful, if and only then, success will follow. Be like Aquinas and put things in order. We should focus on more important things: Prioritize God, seek Him” he said.

In his greatest work Summa Theologica, Aquinas tackled the proofs of God’s existence, man’s ultimate purpose, faith and morality.

Aquinas wrote that the pursuit of knowledge and truth could only be found in God.

Seña also urged Thomasians to develop traits like faith and wisdom amid the pandemic and not merely become health- and wealth-conscious individuals.

Ngayong may pandemic, we are becoming health and wealth conscious. Aanhin mo ang mga milyon-milyon o bilyon-bilyong pera kung sa huli ay magkakasakit ka? It should not stop from there,” he said.

(In this time of pandemic, we are becoming health and wealth-conscious. What will you do with millions or billions of money if you will only get sick in the end? Our efforts should not stop there.)

Seño led the Triduum Masses from Jan. 25 to 27 in preparation for the feast, which had the theme, “A Mind to Know You, A Heart to Seek You, Wisdom to Find You.”

During the first and second Triduum Masses, Seño called on Thomasians to have a heart like St. Thomas,’ who both loved and contemplated..

“We can have a mind that is not just thinking but also loving and concerned with the welfare of others and strives to make itself understood. It could only be possible if our mind is closely connected with the heart,” he said. 

The new normal brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic warrants reinforced faith such as that of St. Thomas, Assoc. Prof. Allan Basas, faculty secretary of the Institute of Religion, told the Varsitarian.

“In the midst of all chaos, confusions, crises, pluralities, subjectivism and relativism… St. Thomas dared to meet the changes and challenges of his times by being faithful,” Basas told the Varsitarian.

He also said that St. Thomas’ dedication to his pursuits should be emulated by Thomasians.

“St. Thomas is a shining example of a Catholic scholar who has dedicated himself to the service of the contemplation and transmission of the absolute truth, the effective communication of the truths of the faith as the fruit of his sedulous contemplation; the analysis… of the propositions of his allies and objectors alike, as a way to expose and propagate the faith; [and] the life-long learning of the truths of the faith by ensuring anchorage on the sacred traditions and being open to dialogue with new realities of his time,” Basas said.

Fr. Lester Mendosa, a doctorate student from the UST Faculty of Canon Law, urged seminary students to emulate St. Thomas’ passion in truth-seeking and truth-telling in his homily during the Eucharistic celebration for the feast of the University’s patron saint at the UST Central Seminary Chapel on Thursday.

“As you leave these gates today, tomorrow, or a few years from now, you’re going to be [questioned by the people]. If we don’t begin in the examples of St. Thomas Aquinas by searching, giving and spreading the truth, then I think we have lost time,” Mendosa said.

Known as the Angelic Doctor of the Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron of schools and universities. M.AO. Castillo and S.T. Sadang

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