The fact that Saint Thomas Aquinas is called the “Angelic Doctor” is not due to his cherubic physique alone. He actually spent a considerable amount of space in his writings1 even in his Summa Theologiae (publ. 1485, written from 1265–1274) on the nature, activities and moral state of angels.
He uses the nature of the angels to illuminate the nature of human cognition, by referring to angels as the extreme of what is possible for an intellectual nature to be. His argument is that:
- the perfection of the universe requires the existence of intellectual creatures;
- since God intends the good for Her/His creation, (s)he intends that it be like Him-/Herself;
- and since an effect is most like its cause when it shares with it the feature whereby it was caused, God’s creation must contain something with intellect and will since that is how God creates, ie. by first knowing it and loving it into being.
“Hence the perfection of the universe requires that there should be intellectual creatures. Now to understand cannot be the action of a body, nor of any corporeal power…. Hence the perfection of the universe requires the existence of an incorporeal creature. — ST Ia 50, 1“2Einstein first proposed that the equivalence of “corporeal” mass and “incorporeal” energy is a general principle and a consequence of the symmetries of space and time in 1905
But, whatever his and your opinion on the “what/how” of angels, they are popular inner companions: “They help us look at the world in ways that infuse our lives with vitality and assist us to experience the deepest levels of understanding, creativity and caring.”3The Angel Cards Book: Inspirational Messages and Meditations, by Joy Drake and Kathy Tyler, 1992
So it is with the PET team also! Every Christmas season, our inspired Chair chooses a “guardian angel” for the coming year. Here’s an overview of PET’s angelic themes from the last years:
May all our beneficiaries, supporters and associates continue to be INSPIRED and ENTHUSED in action with the vitality of the above divine & creative essences.