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Quotes

Purging the World of Evil

St. Thomas Aquinas on the Atoning Work of Christ


CCT Director / Editor of The Table / Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Biola University
October 21, 2015

“Pelican of pietas, Jesus Lord, cleanse my unclean self in your blood; one small drop of it could make the whole world clean, purged from every evil.”

St. Thomas Aquinas
From “Adoro Devote,” translated by Eleonore Stump
in her Wandering in Darkness

I venerate you with devotion, hidden truth,

who lie beneath these forms, truly hidden.

My whole heart gives itself to you

because it is wholly undone contemplating you.

Quote: Pelican of pietas, Jesus Lord, cleanse my unclean self in your blood; one small drop of it could make the whole world clean, purged from every evil.

Sight, touch, taste are deceived in you;

hearing alone is safely believed.

I do believe whatever the Son of God has said;

nothing is more true than this Word of truth.

 

Only deity was hidden on the cross;

Humanity lies hidden here as well.

And I, believing and confessing both,

seek from you what the thief sought, repenting.

 

As Thomas, I do not see your wounds,

and yet I confess you as my God.

Make me increase steadily in faith in you.

in hope in you, in love of you.

 

O memorial of the death of the Lord,

bread providing true life to us.

provide life for my mind that I might always

know the sweet taste of you.

 

Pelican of pietas, Jesus Lord,

cleanse my unclean self in your blood;

One small drop of it could make

the whole world clean, purged from every evil.

 

Veiled Jesus, whom I now look upon,

when will what I so desire come to be?

When will I see your face, unveiled,

and in the vision of your glory blessed be?

 

St. Thomas Aquinas
“Adoro Devote,” translated by Eleonore Stump
in her Wandering in Darkness

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