Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Catholic Faith and Higher Education, "Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity"

All of St. Thomas Aquinas' work-all of his natural philosophy and theology-aims ultimately at understanding and revering the God-head, Three-in-One. Thus, the doctrine of the Trinity is one of the last things a student studies at Thomas Aquinas College.

Pope John Paul II reminds us in his encyclical Fides et Ratio that "The Church has been justified in consistently proposing St. Thomas as a master of thought and a model of the right way to do theology." His Holiness concludes that encyclical by invoking the life and example of the Blessed Virgin as a "true parable," illuminating the relation between faith and reason.
"For between the vocation of the Blessed Virgin and the vocation of true philosophy there is a deep harmony." It is therefore particularly fitting that the Chapel of Thomas Aquinas College be both Trinitarian and Marian.
To honor Mary with the name "Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity" is to honor her as the perfect daughter, spouse, and mother. A religious congregation founded under this title (the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity) explains it succinctly: She is the perfect daughter of the Father through the redemptive Incarnation and passion of the Son; she is the spouse of the Holy Spirit through the will of the Father and continues to be the most perfect of all mystical spouses; she is the most perfect mother of the Word through the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Moreover, she is the most perfect creation of the Father through the Son.At Thomas Aquinas College, young men and women engage with their teachers in the pursuit of Christian Wisdom, prior to commencing their life's work. The College is, therefore, focused inward upon that common life of mind and spirit which has as its center the academic quadrangle. Continuity is fundamental to that common life-continuity with the intellectual and spiritual heritage of our civilization.
The student at Thomas Aquinas College claims his inheritance from the inside by reading, analyzing and discussing the works which both produced that civilization and were produced by it. The architecture of the campus, and particularly that of the buildings on the academic quadrangle, reflects this continuity with the whole of western, Christian civilization. Not only do the buildings harmonize with each other, they spring from the architectural traditions of that civilization.
The Chapel, in particular, draws upon the California Missions as well as many of the great Romanesque churches of Christendom. It provides, therefore, an appropriate setting for the spiritual and sacramental life of the College. In its tower, three great bells are hung to ring out the Angelus each day. At the top of the tower gleams a golden cross, a sign to all of the sacred place that lies below. The dome, rising above the crossing of the transept and the nave, symbolizes continuity with the Mother Church, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Link to St. Thomas Aquinas College and Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel

No comments: