Sr. Mary Michael Fox shares the richness of St. Thomas Aquinas’ profound hymns on the Eucharist which are excellent catechetical tools.
It must be the 12th century Dominican habit I wear that compels others to make ‘true confessions’ about Saint Thomas Aquinas to me,‘He’s too hard.’ ‘He’s so dry,’ another suggests. To these objections, I have discovered one ‘I answer that’ to be most satisfying especially when it is sung:
Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore.
Masked by these bare shadows shape and nothing more.
See Lord at thy service. Low lies here a heart.
Lost all lost in wonder, at the God Thou art.
The Eucharistic hymns of Saint Thomas Aquinas are an eloquent synthesis of the same profound and insightful theology found in his Summa Theolgiae—a work that is, I daresay, indispensible for catechists and one that the Church considers preeminent theology. Yet, the Summa is indeed somewhat daunting due to its structure and sheer magnitude. Fortunately, Saint Thomas offers more than one way of studying, contemplating and teaching the profound doctrine of the Eucharist.His Eucharistic hymns, Lauda Sion, Verbum Supernum, Pange Lingua, and Panis Angelicus, are a perfect convergence of theology and poetry. Their truth is beautiful and their beauty is true; and for this reason, they are perfectly catechetical.
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