My Sacred Space reader tells me that today is the feast day of St Thomas Aquinas. In looking him up online I am reminded that he thought heretics should be put to death and would be forever separated from God. He also believed that women were intellectually inferior to men and should therefore be subject to them. He further believed that physical “correction” of children and slaves was necessary. No wonder then that modern theologians and philosophers have difficulty in reconciling his position, though to be fair, to even attempt to understand him we have to try to enter into the mindset of 13th century Europe.
However…….it does beg the question, what use are feast days for people who may have had sincere views when in fact they were so downright bigoted? Still – Butler’s Lives of the Saints tells us that in 1272 he was celebrating Mass when he received a revelation that affected him so much that he wrote nothing more. He is supposed to have said “The end of my labours is come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.”
Aha! He came to God’s senses after all.