Surely, it must stand to reason that whatever our respect and even our reverence may be on the occasion of commemorating the 700th anniversary of a particular man's death, the very fact that it is a 700th anniversary must somehow betoken that the man himself is, to say the least, somewhat out of date! And so it is with St. Thomas. Let's face it: In the language of today's slang, he just doesn't seem to be "with it" any more. True, this does not mean that it is not at least conceivable that he might be more "with it" than many of us would ever suspect. Yes, it could even be that in our own very up-to-dateness it is we who are really out of date, whereas the seeming out-of-dateness of Aquinas might only serve to conceal his true and proper contemporaneity.

But enough of this. For why indulge ourselves in such paradoxes of mere possibility? Rather let us return for the moment to the seeming present-day actuality of things, and let us try to bring home to ourselves as forcefully and perhaps even as disturbingly as we can just how remote and even alien St. Thomas' very conception of the nature of things, and of the natural order of things, is from that to which we have nowadays become so accustomed.



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