He is an ever deepening well from which to draw, and recently I’ve acquired some new books about him and his work.
One is Thomism in an Age of Renewal by Ralph M. McInerny
This book was written right after Vatican Council II, and it was specifically addressed to what actually occurred there in relation to Thomism, as he begins:
“In the present essay I have attempted to discuss the status of Thomism in the present situation. There were those who awaited its dethronement by the council; there were others who expected a stiffer restatement of earlier directives. Both, I suppose, have been disappointed. It would be difficult to work up sympathy either for those who hope Aquinas would be supplanted by existentialism or phenomenology or Teilhard de Chardin; it would be equally difficult to sympathize with those who felt that all was as it should be with Catholic philosophy. As it happens, the Council had very little to say on the matter of philosophy, and this may seem to leave the matter quite ambiguous. What is the status of all those ecclesiastical documents concerning the philosophy of St. Thomas, those going back to Leo XIII, but those as well that go back many centuries before Leo? Are we to suppose, in the absence of any detailed discussion of them, that they have been superseded? And, if so, by what? Has Thomas Aquinas fallen from favor? Is Thomism in or out? These are some of the questions to which I try to address myself in the discussion which follows.” (pp. 9-10)
And he concludes:
“Let me, with a throat raw from preaching without authority, bring this essay to a close. The question before us was the present status of Thomism. It is raised most often by those who feel that the day of the hegemony of Aquinas is over. In looking at their reasons, we have found some unsound and others sound. If Thomism were only what it has been, its future would deserve to be no brighter than its past. But when Thomism is considered as what it might be, as the task the Church has set us in giving all that advice, it is difficult to see it in conflict with the legitimate desires of its current opponents. For the Thomism we are all called to help bring forth is not a philosophy. Here is the genius and inspiration of the Church, it seems to me, in selecting St. Thomas Aquinas as the model and mentor of the intellectual life of Catholics. Both saint and scholar, Thomas Aquinas is the fitting guide of an introduction to philosophy which introduces to philosophy without qualification, to philosophy in all its scope, in all its appearances and efforts. It is the utter catholicity of Aquinas’ interests that earns him the role of patron of the Catholic intellectual. To the degree that we exhibit in our own philosophizing the zest and daring of his spirit, we will be worthy of the title, Thomist.” (McInerny, R. M. (1966). Thomism in an Age of Renewal. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., pp. 205 – 206)
Another is, St. Thomas Aquinas by Fr. D’Arcy, SJ
I have been searching for a good biography of St. Thomas for some time, having exhausted the online versions of his life, and wanting a little more context. I found it in this book, and as I read the first pages which are about the period in which St. Thomas lived and his contemporaries, two of whom, St. Albertus Magnus (Albert the Great) and Duns Scotus, were names familiar to me from my long ago studies in the occult, and a reminder that much of the occult is merely a perversion of authentic Catholic thought and practice; a fact really evident to me during my first experience with Latin Mass, which is the root—much perverted and demonized—of the calling down ritual used by witches.
“St. Thomas is no philosophic Melchisedech without ancestry, nor again the sole claimant to greatness among scholastic philosophers. His friends and contemporaries, Albert the Great and St. Bonaventure and his rival, Duns Scotus, are not dwarfed in his presence. Nevertheless tradition has rightly assigned him a certain pre-eminence, both because of the massive unity of his system and because that system reaffirms so much of the past in a measured and stately way. From the first century onwards the Christian thinkers had set to work to defend and develop the Christian teaching by adapting the current philosophic language to their creed. Their work, however, was primarily religious and apologetical and not philosophic, because they had as a principal aim to safeguard the fundamental teaching of Christianity, to state and explain what was orthodox. It mattered little what school of philosophy they adopted. The Alexandrian Fathers, for instance, differed from those of Antioch, and both were far more familiar with the technical terms of philosophy that the Western Bishops. The trouble caused by these differences in philosophical tradition is plain from the Arian, Nestorian, and other disputes.” (D’Arcy, M. C. (1954). St. Thomas Aquinas. Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Press. (pp. 7-8)
Finally, Catena Aurea: Commentaries on the Four Gospels in Four Volumes, by St. Thomas, edited by Cardinal John Henry Newman in 1842.
This is a magnificent work, where St. Thomas has pulled all of the commentary from 80 Church Fathers together, and as Cardinal Newman notes in the Preface:
“All such commentaries have more or less merit and usefulness, but they are very inferior to the ‘Catena Aurea,’ which is now presented to the English reader; being all of them capricious, dilating on one passage, and passing unnoticed another of equal or greater difficulty; arbitrary in their selection from the Fathers, and as complications crude or indigested. But it is impossible to read the Catena of S. Thomas, without being struck with the masterly and architectonic skill with which it is put together. A learning of the highest kind,–not a mere literary book-knowledge, which might have supplied the place of indexes and tables in ages destitute of those helps, and when every thing was to be read in unarranged and fragmentary MSS—but a thorough acquaintance with the whole range of ecclesiastical antiquity, so as to be able to bring the substance of all that had been written on any point to bear upon the text which involved it—a familiarity with the style of each writer, so as to compress into few words the pith of a whole page, and a power of clear and orderly arrangement in this mass of knowledge, are qualities which make this Catena perhaps nearly perfect as a conspectus of Patristic interpretation.” (Aquinas, T. (2009). Catena Aurea: Commentaries on the Four Gospels: Collected out of the Works of the Fathers. Boonville, New York: Preserving Christina Publications. (pp. iii – iv)
The true bottom line here is that the entire approach of our organization in the transformation of the criminal is based on an intellectual study of the history and teaching of the Catholic Church and in this process, the surest guide, and ultimate individual resource, is, and will forevermore be, The Angelic Doctor.