July 28, 2023

Serra Club Vocations Essay

St. Thomas Aquinas helps student grow in understanding of the Eucharist

(Editor’s note: The Indianapolis Serra Club’s annual John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest awards prizes each spring to winning essayists in grades 7-12 in the archdiocese. This week, we continue with the winning entry in the 11th grade.)

By Josh Puno (Special to The Criterion)

Josh PunoSt. Thomas Aquinas is known as one of the Catholic Church’s greatest scholastic philosophers and one of the best advocates of eucharistic devotion.

He wrote several eucharistic hymns and taught others about the sacrament. He believed that Christ is present in the Eucharist and that it is a sacrament of love.

St. Thomas Aquinas also created a complete integration of Christian theology and Aristotelian philosophy, which had a long-lasting impact on Roman Catholic doctrine. His work was recognized as the Church’s official philosophy in 1917.

St. Thomas Aquinas says that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil avoided.” According to Aquinas, reason exposes specific natural laws that are beneficial for people, such as the need to know God, desire for marriage and family and self-preservation.

He spent most of his life writing prayers, songs and books. One of the best known works by St. Thomas is the Summa Theologica. It is divided into three parts consisting of tracts, questions, articles and objections to their answers.

The Summa Theologica discusses the essence of Christian belief: the Blessed Trinity, God, his creation, as well as religious issues related to the structure and teaching of the Catholic faith. It was written as a manual for educators and students, as well as a compilation of all the Catholic Church’s recognized teachings. He was persuaded that God is the source of both faith and reason.

St. Thomas prayed for the families of people who were considering a call to holy orders or religious life. He serves as an example of the virtues for all Christians and is a model of the Christian life. He also wrote several prayers and songs in his lifetime as a philosopher.

He shows his desire to receive God while reciting his prayer and his desire for “a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you.” He lived out his vocation by inspiring others to have a better understanding of and relationship with God.

St. Thomas lived out his devotion to the Eucharist by discussing the purpose of, the reason for and acceptability of Christ’s actual presence in the Eucharist. He is also known for some of his writings about the Eucharist.

He said that “spiritual eating is nothing other than being united to Christ by faith and charity.” This means that he not only received Christ, but also had a relationship with Christ. St. Thomas lived out his teaching as an exercise of “holy teaching” that shows that transubstantiation affirms the truth of Christ’s statements spoken during the Last Supper.

St. Thomas inspires me to have a strong relationship with and understanding of God through the Eucharist. I make it a point to attend Mass every Sunday and on special days like a family member’s birthday. I plan to make my prayers more meaningful.

(Josh and his parents, Jeff and Aileen Puno, are members of St. Pius X Parish in Indianapolis. He recently completed the 11th grade at the Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis and is the 11th-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2023 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

Local site Links: