Starts: January 19th
Feastday: January 28th
Born in Italy in 1225, Thomas was gifted with an unparalleled intellect. He sought to enter the Dominican Order, but his family stopped him for some time by capturing him and holding him in their castle.
During that imprisonment, they sent in a prostitute to tempt him to sin, but he drove her out, and angels came to him and Thomas was given a special grace of not being tempted against purity again in his life (for those interested in growing in purity, search for the Angelic Warfare Confraternity established by the Dominicans through the graces given to St. Thomas with regard to purity.) Thomas went on to enter the Dominican Order, become a professor and theologian, writing the Summa Theologiae, the greatest work on faith and reason ever made. He is the patron of Catholic colleges and schools and is sought out by students for help in their studies.
Intro Prayer (to be said each day)
Grant me grace, O merciful God, to desire ardently all that is pleasing to Thee, to examine it prudently, to acknowledge it truthfully, and to accomplish it perfectly, for the praise and glory of Thy name. In particular, please obtain the favor I ask during this novena:
(Make you request here)
Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you.
Day 1: God Himself is the rule and mode of virtue. Our faith is measured by divine truth, our hope by the greatness of His power and faithful affection, our charity by His goodness. His truth, power and goodness outreach any measure of reason. We can certainly never believe, trust or love God more than, or even as much as, we should. Extravagance is impossible. Here is no virtuous moderation, no measurable mean; the more extreme our activity, the better we are.
Day 2: Even though the natural light of the human mind is inadequate to make known what is revealed by faith, nevertheless what is divinely taught to us by faith cannot be contrary to what we are endowed with by nature. One or the other would have to be false, and since we have both of them from God, he would be the cause of our error, which is impossible.
Day 3: God loves his creatures, and he loves each one the more, the more it shares his own goodness, which is the first and primary object of his love. Therefore he wants the desires of his rational creatures to be fulfilled because they share most perfectly of all creatures the goodness of God. And his will is an accomplisher of things because he is the cause of things by his will. So it belongs to the divine goodness to fulfill the desires of rational creatures which are put to him in prayer.
Day 4: Many cry to the Lord that they may win riches, that they may avoid losses; they cry that their family may be established, they ask for temporal happiness, for worldly dignities; and, lastly, they cry for bodily health, which is the patrimony of the poor. For these and suchlike things many cry to the Lord; hardly one cries for the Lord Himself! How easy it is for a man to desire all manner of things from the Lord and yet not desire the Lord Himself! As though the gift could be sweeter than the Giver!
Day 5: The world tempts us either by attaching us to it in prosperity, or by filling us with fear of adversity. But faith overcomes this in that we believe in a life to come better than this one, and hence we despise the riches of this world and we are not terrified in the face of adversity.
Day 6: Virgin full of goodness, Mother of mercy, I entrust to you my body and my soul, my thoughts and my actions, my life and my death. My Queen, come to my aid and deliver me from the snares of the devil. Obtain for me the grace of loving my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, with a true and perfect love, and after him, Mary, of loving you with all my heart and above all things. Amen.
Day 7: Fear is such a powerful emotion for humans that when we allow it to take us over, it drives compassion right out of our hearts. We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject, for both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in finding it.
Day 8: To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. We can’t have full knowledge all at once. We must start by believing; then afterwards we may be led on to master the evidence for ourselves.
Day 9: Suppose a person entering a house were to feel heat on the porch, and going further, were to feel the heat increasing, the more they penetrated within. Doubtless, such a person would believe there was a fire in the house, even though they did not see the fire that must be causing all this heat. A similar thing will happen to anyone who considers this world in detail: one will observe that all things are arranged according to their degrees of beauty and excellence, and that the nearer they are to God, the more beautiful and better they are.
Concluding Prayer (to be said each day)
Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding. Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance.
Give me a keen 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 help in the completion. I ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.