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Author QuotedThomas Aquinas
Title QuotedCommentary on the Gospel of St. John
Date (Year/Month/Day)1949/08/05
QuotationI find an interesting passage in St. Thomas' commentary on St. John, Chapter I (Lectio XIV), the place where Jesus turns to Andrew and John who have asked Him where He lives and He says, "Come and see." Thomas interprets this mystically as evidence that we can only come to know Jesus dwelling within us by experience. But I take this experimental knowledge of the presence of God in us to be contemplation. He then says there are four ways of arriving at this experimental knowledge. Two are, as one might expect, by interior quiet and rest, and by the taste of the divine sweetness. But the other two are, first, by the performance of good works, and second, per operationem devotionis [by works of devotion]. I don't know precisely what that means but in any case it is an activity. Hence it is easy to see that for St. Thomas there is in practice no contradiction between contemplation and activity.
JournalEntering the Silence: Becoming a Monk and Writer. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 2, 1941-1952.; Edited by Jonathan Montaldo. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1996, p. 345-46
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