Volume 53, Issue 4, December 2013
Kevin E. O’Reilly, O.P.
The Significance of Worship in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas
This article appeals to Thomas Aquinas in order to offer a construal of the nature of reason arguably preferable to that prominent in the Enlightenment. Thomas’s account neither espouses the notion that reason is devoid of any appetitive influence nor so conflates reason and will as to suggest that thinking becomes essentially a form of willing. His view does respect that the activity of willing is of fundamental import for the life of reason. Since the ultimate object of the will is union with God, it follows that the virtue that specifically promotes the attainment of this end—the virtue of religion—has particular import because it aims at rectifying the will and is the most excellent among the moral virtues. In brief, this virtue promotes the optimal intellectual and moral flourishing of individuals as well as the realization of justice in society.