St. Thomas Aquinas's holiness did not flower alongside his endeavour as a theologian or in isolation from it. Rather, it was a fruit of his practice of theology and the asceticism proper to magnanimous souls who dare to examine the mystery of God. Theological affectivity-charity present through a living faith-is necessary for an authentic practice of theology. The experience of God, which is essential to the mystical life, is at the heart of Aquinas's study and life.
The studies in this volume investigate themes of particular spiritual relevance in Aquinas's theology: friendship, charity, prayer, configuration to Christ, priesthood, preaching. They also reveal Aquinas's entire approach to theology to be guided by the desire to grow spiritually through theologising. The Angelic Doctor here appears as a Dominican friar whose theology flows from his faith and prayer.
Desiring to underscore the Trinitarian character of the Christian life, Aquinas pays careful attention to the human being as created in the image of God. In this light, Aquinas presents Christ as the Exemplar after which we are fashioned and as the model we are to imitate. Christ thus appears in the Summa not only as the way by which the human being must travel toward God but also as the head who leads the rational creature's return to the Creator.