Today is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas. I have studied his work and read his questions and answers many times. I am challenged each day by the three paths to God of which he writes: truth, beauty, and goodness.
But I find that I am distracted.
Distracted with worry about the child whose fever is high and whose congestion convinces her she cannot
Distracted by the unedited chapters of my dissertation that await my approach when I find the time.
Distracted by the news I fear may come in the next few days or weeks.
Distracted about the trip I take this week, missing work and family and having to navigate airports and luggage and parking.
Distracted about the unfinished lists in my head and on my desk.
Distracted by the people in front of me at Mass that show up late, chatter throughout, and then leave after Communion.
Distracted that I cannot seem to focus in prayer.
Distracted by bills that did not get paid this month.
So, in desperation, I turned to the good St. Thomas: “Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand.”
And it makes me wonder: is it a lack of faith that distracts me? If I understand that “faith is God’s work within us,” could I be so bold as to give my distractions over to God? Will any worry today fix any of these things tomorrow? Will the hope of change be enough or must there be a commitment to change, to act, to do something.
If there really is nothing to be accomplished by worrying, why worry?
Easier said than done.
Perhaps, for now, I can simply ask St. Thomas to guide me, intervene for me, console me.
“Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you. Amen.”
St Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.