Belief Without Sight

Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274

December 8 (John 20:29)

Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.  (NLT)

It would be impossible to state fully the influence of Thomas Aquinas, the 13th century Dominican friar.  He remains one of the greatest philosophers and theologians of all time, and his Summa Theologiae, a gigantic tome, stands as one of the masterworks of Western literature.  Yet on December 6, 1273, something happened that caused him to lay down his pen.  He experienced a vision so profound that he felt he had nothing more to write, despite that the Summa was unfinished.  When begged by a friend to continue, he replied that all he had written seemed like nothing but straw in comparison with what he had seen.

Truly, this is what I desire.  More than anything I want to experience God so directly that I can see nothing else, feel nothing else, know nothing else.  And I have no doubt that such an experience would indeed blind me to everything that is not God and would convince me that all my projects and accomplishments amounted to nothing but straw.

Yet this has not been the case for me, at least not yet, as it is not the case for most of those who follow Jesus.  We long to be in His presence, but each morning we awake with the things of the world still crowding for our attention.  In His grace, Jesus has spoken a word to all of us in His reply to another Thomas, the disciple who put his hand into the Lord’s wounds after His resurrection.  “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me,” He said.  Those of us who believe without having seen Him directly are blessed, and with that gift of blessing we should take great satisfaction and joy until the day when we all will see Him face to face.

Lord Jesus, my true and only desire is for You.  I long to be in Your presence forever.  Until that day comes, may I draw my pleasure and joy from the blessings You have given in this life, including the greatest of all, the promise of life to come.  Amen.

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