Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition


Let us pray for things that are appropriate for us


St. Thomas Aquinas, Greatest Doctor of the Catholic Church, teaches us how to ask for what we should:


St. Augustine speaks against those who ask God for worldly honor, as follows:


When you ask for the things that God praises and promises to give, ask him with confidence, because God grants those things to us.  Yet if you ask for temporal things, ask with discretion, for God knows better than man whether things are good or bad for us.


Still, many ask God more freely for temporal than for eternal goods.  All such people ask in an indiscreet way, because it does not befit God to give such a small gift, just as it does not befit the King of France to give a dime.  


Or, God prefers not to listen to such people, because what they ask for is not salutary for them, just as he did not listen to St. Paul [when he asked God to be delivered from the sting of the flesh, 2 Cor. 12.7], and just as he does not listen to boys in schools asking that they not be flogged, because it is of no avail to them.


St. Thomas Aquinas, sermon Petite et Accipietis, preached to the faculty and students of the University of Paris, on the 5th Sunday after Easter.