Prior to Aquinas' work, it was Augustine, with his emphasis on revelation and God's sovereignty, who was the dominant figure in Western philosophy.
Although Aquinas was an Aristotelian and an empiricist, he also believed that truth is known through reason (natural revelation) and faith (supernatural revelation).
Below are some well-known, wise and insightful quotes form the works of Thomas Aquinas.
Well-ordered self-love is right and natural.
Wonder is the desire for knowledge.
Whatever is received is received according to the nature of the recipient.
All the efforts of the human mind cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly.
Because of the diverse conditions of humans, it happens that some acts are virtuous to some people, as appropriate and suitable to them, while the same acts are immoral for others, as inappropriate to them.
All that is true, by whomsoever it has been said has its origin in the Spirit.
We ought to cherish the body. Our body's substance is not from an evil principle, as the Manicheans imagine, but from God. And therefore, we ought to cherish the body by the friendship of love, by which we love God.
Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.
By nature all men are equal in liberty, but not in other endowments.
Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand.
Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained by man's own will.
How can we live in harmony? First we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God.
If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.
In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign. Secondly, a just cause. Thirdly, a rightful intention.
Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.
Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures.
The things that we love tell us what we are.
Beauty adds to goodness a relation to the cognitive faculty: so that "good" means that which simply pleases the appetite; while the "beautiful" is something pleasant to apprehend.
To live well is to work well, to show a good activity.
To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.
Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason.
A man has free choice to the extent that he is rational.
The highest manifestation of life consists in this: that a being governs its own actions. A thing which is always subject to the direction of another is somewhat of a dead thing.
Charity, by which God and neighbor are loved, is the most perfect friendship.
Temperance is simply a disposition of the mind which binds the passions.
All that I have written seems like straw compared to what has now been revealed to me.