BlackFriars Volume V, Issue II | Page 3

Letter from the Director Dear Friends, I was recently asked the question, “why is St. Thomas Aquinas depicted with a sunburst over his heart? Wouldn’t the brow be more fitting, since it points towards the brilliance of his mind?” New York City; and Charlottesville, Virginia bearing aloft the precious Body of Christ. We are eager to share this Truth that has transformed our hearts with a world hungry for true spiritual sustenance. The sunburst on the breast of St. Thomas is most certainly a symbol of his teachings, which—themselves illumined by divine truth— bear forth light for the whole world. In fact, “Lumen Mundi” is one of his ancient titles. This is also why, as you’ll read in this issue, the friars are having success preaching the unity of faith and reason on secular campuses. Young people today live in a world haunted by the ghosts of empty and failed ideologies. The Dominican Friars bring a Truth that is not merely mental, but embodied in the human heart and transmitted in the warmth of Christian charity. The sunburst is also a sign of St. Thomas’ purity of heart. EWTN will soon air a BlackFriars Media documentary about our Angelic Warfare Confraternity, a spiritual community devoted to imitating St. Thomas’ legendary purity. (Include your email address in the attached envelope to receive a link to the video once it has aired). The best reason for the location of the sunburst, however, is found in St. Thomas’ writings on the Eucharist. Normally bread is transformed into the one who eats it, but the opposite happens when we receive Holy Communion: we are incorporated into this Living Bread. We don’t consume the Eucharist as much as It consumes us and transforms our hearts into the heart of Christ! Aquinas did not simply hold this teaching in his mind but lived it out with his whole heart. Thanks to your generosity, we Dominican Friars receive years of training in the thought of our elder brother St. Thomas Aquinas. As with him, this training penetrates not only our minds but our hearts as well. This is why— each year on the feast of Corpus Christi—friars take to the streets of New Haven, Connecticut; BlackFriars - Volume V, Issue II I also invite you to read the uplifting story of a family’s devotion to their patron saint told by a Providence College senior who is the product of a lifelong Dominican education. Finally, I prepared a special essay on the Dominican tradition of praying for our deceased friends and benefactors; because as Our Lord taught, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:51) Father Gabriel Gillen, O.P. Executive Director Dominican Friars Foundation 3