Wine and St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas, also known as the Angelic Doctor, was a philosopher, theologian, and one of the most influential figures in the development of Christian thought. He lived in the 13th century and his writings continue to be studied and debated today. In this blog post, we will explore the role of wine in the thought and writings of St. Thomas Aquinas.

St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas | Image Source

Wine as a Gift from God

In Aquinas’ writings, wine is often seen as a gift from God. He believed that God created the world for human enjoyment, and wine was one of the many gifts that God gave to humanity.

In his Summa Theologica, Aquinas writes, “Wine is a gift from God, and it is given to man to make his heart glad.”

Aquinas also recognized the symbolic value of wine. He believed that wine was a symbol of the joy that comes from a life lived in accordance with God’s will. He wrote, “Wine is a symbol of the joy that comes from living a life that is pleasing to God.”

Wine as a Symbol of the Eucharist

In addition to seeing wine as a gift from God, Aquinas also saw it as a symbol of the Eucharist. He believed that wine when blessed and consecrated, becomes the blood of Christ, and is, therefore, a powerful symbol of the sacrifice of Christ.

In his Summa Theologica, he writes, “In the sacrament of the Eucharist, wine is changed into the blood of Christ, and this is a symbol of the blood that Christ shed on the cross for the salvation of humanity.”

Aquinas also believed that the use of wine in the Eucharist was significant because it showed the importance of material things in the spiritual life.

He wrote, “The material world is not something to be rejected or ignored, but something to be celebrated and used in the service of God. The use of wine in the Eucharist is a reminder that the physical world is important and that God has given us physical gifts to use in our spiritual life.”

Wine as a Temptation

While Aquinas saw the value of wine as a gift from God and a symbol of the Eucharist, he also recognized its potential dangers. He believed that drinking too much wine could lead to drunkenness, which in turn could lead to moral corruption. In his Summa Theologica, he writes, “Drunkenness is a sin because it leads to the neglect of one’s duties and the commission of other sins.”

Aquinas also recognized that wine could be used as a tool of temptation.

He wrote, “The devil uses wine as a tool of temptation because he knows that it can weaken a person’s will and lead them away from God.”

However, he believed that the solution to this problem was not to reject wine altogether but to use it in moderation and with self-control.

Conclusion

St. Thomas Aquinas’ philosophy on wine reflects his understanding of the relationship between God and humanity. He saw wine as a gift from God, a symbol of the Eucharist, and a reminder of the importance of the material world in the spiritual life. However, he also recognized the dangers of wine and the need for self-control and moderation. His views on wine continue to influence Christian theology and the philosophy of religion today.

On this Day

28 January 1225: Thomas Aquinas is born in Roccasecca, Kingdom of Sicily (present-day Italy).

1265-1268: Aquinas writes his seminal work “Summa Theologica,” which addresses various theological and philosophical questions, including the role of wine in Christian thought.

7 March 1274: Aquinas passes away while traveling to the Council of Lyon, near Fossanova, Kingdom of Naples (present-day Italy).

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Categories: This Day in Wine History | ArticlesTags: , By Published On: August 30, 2023Last Updated: June 14, 2023

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