Among all human pursuits, the pursuit of wisdom is more perfect, more noble, more useful, and more full of joy.
It is more perfect because, in so far as a person gives himself to the pursuit of wisdom, so far does he even now have some share in true beatitude. And so a wise man has said, Blessed is the man that shall continue in wisdom (Sir 14:20).
It is more noble because through this pursuit man especially approaches to a likeness to God who made all things in wisdom (Ps 104:24). And since likeness is the cause of love, the pursuit of wisdom especially joins man to God in friendship. That is why it is said of wisdom that she is an infinite treasure to people which they that use become the friends of God (Wis 7:14).
It is more useful because through wisdom we arrive at the kingdom of immortality. For the desire of wisdom bringeth to the everlasting kingdom (Wis 6:21).
It is more full of joy because her conversation hath no bitterness, nor her company any tediousness, but joy and gladness (Wis 8:16).
And so, in the name of the divine mercy, I have the confidence to embark upon the work of a wise man, even though this may surpass my powers, and I have set myself the task of making known, as far as my limited powers will allow, the truth that the Catholic faith professes, and of setting aside the errors that are opposed to it. To use the words of Hilary: "I am aware that I owe this to God as the chief duty of life, that my every word and sense may speak of him."
Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P. "Wisdom." On the Truth of the Catholic Faith: Summa Contra Gentiles, Book One: God, The Father, Anton C. Pegis, F.R.S.C., Tr. (1955) Doubleday & Company Inc.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P. (1225-1274), was an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. He was an immensely influential philosopher, theologian, and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis. The name Aquinas identifies his ancestral origins in the county of Aquino in present-day Lazio, where his family held land until 1137. The works for which he is best known are the Summa Theologiae and the Summa contra Gentiles. His commentaries on Sacred Scripture and on Aristotle form an important part of his body of work. Furthermore, Thomas is distinguished for his eucharistic hymns, which form a part of the Church's liturgy.
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