During the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) became one of the Western Church’s most celebrated defenders of reason, faith, and Scripture. Yet just three months before his death something happened that caused him to leave unfinished a massive legacy of his life’s work. While reflecting on the broken body and shed blood of his Savior, he reportedly had a vision that caused him to reassess the bulk and value of his carefully reasoned arguments. When his assistant, Reginald, urged him to pick up his pen and get back to his work, he said, “I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings seem like straw.”
No one knows what Aquinas saw. But his apparent reassessment of what he had amassed in words, logic, and carefully reasoned arguments may resonate with what many of us are beginning to see in the unlimited and immeasurable wisdom and goodness of our God.
Oh… I want so much to believe… that, in an effort to tell our own story, and to explain the sacred Scriptures entrusted to us— words, reason, and common sense are important— important like the straw that cradled a Son— born to save the world with his broken body and shed blood— and then to give us his Spirit … to show us what is hidden in plain sight—that someday, beyond the fire of all loss and accountability—“at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow [in submission], of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess and openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (sovereign God), to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11 (Amplified Bible)