St. Thomas : The Search Engine

From the website:

This web application allows you to search through the works of Aquinas in both English and Latin. It allows you to do proximity word and phrase searches. For each result found, the paragraph containing the result will be displayed together with a link to the website where the full text can be found. Furthermore, if desired, one can save and categorize results in user defined groups of results.


(1) Make sure you have selected some pages to search by clicking on the checkboxes in the ‘Domain Summary’ pane.

(2) In the ‘New Search’ pane, fill any one of the word1 to word4 text fields with words you would like to find near to each other. You can specify the separation of the words by using the drop down menu.

(3) If desired, you can create groups of results that you can save for later reference.

Future updates of the site will include:

1. Other philosophers.

2. Allow users to add private comments to a search result.

3. Allow users to upload pdfs (with appropriate access control) which they want to search. (This may be tricky).

4. Autogenerate bibliographies in a variety of formats

St Thomas: The Search Engine was created by fr Robert Verrill, a friar of the English Dominican Province. If you notice any bugs or a functionality you would like this web application to provide, please contact him at

Daily prayer for July 12, 2017

Lord, Father all-powerful and ever-living God, I thank You, for
even though I am a sinner, your unprofitable servant, not
because of my worth but in the kindness of your mercy,
You have fed me with the Precious Body & Blood of Your Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that this Holy Communion may not bring me
condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation.
May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will.
May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions.
May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience,
and growth in the power to do good.
May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses,
bodily and spiritual.
May it unite me more closely to you, the One true God, and lead me
safely through death to everlasting happiness with You.
And I pray that You will lead me, a sinner, to the banquet where you,
with Your Son and holy Spirit, are true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end, and perfect
happiness to your saints. grant this through Christ our Lord,


Aquinas: Homily for Saturday, January 28, 2017

(Listen to today’s homily, “Humility” by clicking the links above.)

Readings for Today

Saint Thomas Aquinas is arguably the most important theologian in the Catholic Church.  His writings are unparalleled.  There is no one who has written more effectively than this doctor of the Church.  This is not because he was a Dominican, as wonderful as that is.  Rather, it was due to his ability to understand both the natural and supernatural world.  Using the writings of Aristotle, he was able to synthesize disconnected areas.

But it was the faith of Aquinas that was, in fact, most important. When asked by the Lord what he sought, he said, “non nisi te”, nothing but you.  Saint Thomas Aquinas was first a mystic.  The important foundation for him was a powerful relationship with God.  As brilliant a man as Saint Thomas was, cultivating a relationship God was most important.  God was first.

In fact, it is in this context that the phrase often uttered by frustrated philosophy students and seminarians, (what he wrote was straw) must be understood.  Saint Thomas Aquinas appreciated the beauty of his work.  But when what he wrote was compared to his experience of God, it was no contest.  God was so much more brilliant, beautiful, powerful and loving.  It was in that context, that the work of Aquinas was straw.  Perhaps the message for today is to see that like Saint Thomas Aquinas, we should desire nothing but God too.

Homily for Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Readings for Today

The first days of the readings of Ordinary Time have been those discussing Jesus. An early challenge for the Christian Church was to deal with the question of how Jesus could in fact be God, while at the same time having suffered an excruciating death upon the cross. Not only excruciating in its pain, but in the shame that came upon the one crucified, and by extension, all of those connected with the one who had been crucified. For Jesus to have died in such a shameful way, how is it possible he could also be God?

In his commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews, St. Thomas Aquinas looks upon this question. For Aquinas, it is the act of supreme charity that Jesus, as both God and man, pays the debt all humans have incurred because of sin. One who is both God and man is most fit to pay this debt on behalf of another. As God, since God has no beginning or end, the debt can be forgiven, but not paid. As a man, one can step in to pay the debt on behalf of another as an act of charity. By becoming fully human, and entering the world, where as a human Jesus could suffer and die, Jesus pays the debt we incurred because of sin. But as God, through the power of the Father, Jesus is raised, and goes ahead, where we too hope to follow.

In traditional thinking, the cross of Jesus could be seen as shame. But because of the grace and action of God, the cross becomes a sign of triumph, for Jesus has won the victory over sin and death. We then can be saved. But there is something powerful about this action of Christ for us today. Aquinas notes that when we embrace something good, we also become more acutely aware of the fear caused by its opposite. But since Jesus has died, once for all, we no longer need to fear death. We can overcome our fears.

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