Monday, January 30, 2006

the angelical doctor and the brother angelical

January 28th was the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelical Doctor. On January the 27th MM and I were in New York City looking at the Fra Angelico pictures at the Met. Fra Angelico, like Thomas Aquinas, was a member of the order of the Friars Preachers, the Dominicans. He came to be called the Angelical Painter by way of comparison of his paintings with the teachings of the Angelical Doctor. Fra Angelico's paintings are to be understood as sermons, as proclamations of the Gospel. And that is abundantly clear at the exhibition at the met. My favorite picture there is a drawing of our Lord's crucifixion, in black and white, with only the blood from our Lord's wounds is colored in red. On the reverse of the drawing of the crucifixion, at the exhibition, is displayed a drawing of Justice. Above is a Fra Angelico painting of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Here is a prayer for students attributed to St. Thomas Aqunias:

Creator of all things, true source of Light and Wisdom, lofty source of all Being, graciously let a ray of your brilliance penetrate into the darkness of my understanding and take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, sin and ignorance. Give me a sharp sense of understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations, and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and hel the completion. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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