167+ Best Thomas Aquinas Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Thomas Aquinas was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. Combining the theological principles of faith with the philosophical principles of reason, Aquinas ranked among the most influential thinkers of medieval Scholasticism.

He is also known within the latter as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis. Inspirational Thomas Aquinas quotes on the trinity, wisdom, humility, philosophy and eucharist will uplift your spirit.

If you’re searching for wisest quotes by philosophers that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of powerful Aristotle quotes, top Socrates quotes, and John Wesley quotes.

Most Famous Thomas Aquinas Quotes

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. – Thomas Aquinas

The things that we love tell us what we are. – Thomas Aquinas

For those with faith, no evidence is necessary; for those without it, no evidence will suffice. – Thomas Aquinas

Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you. Amen. – Thomas Aquinas

Suppose a person entering a house were to feel heat on the porch, and going further, were to feel the heat increasing, the more they penetrated within. Doubtless, such a person would believe there was a fire in the house, even though they did not see the fire that must be causing all this heat. A similar thing will happen to anyone who considers this world in detail: one will observe that all things are arranged according to their degrees of beauty and excellence, and that the nearer they are to God, the more beautiful and better they are. – Thomas Aquinas

It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes. – Thomas Aquinas

Whatever a man has in superabundance is owed, of natural right, to the poor for their sustenance. So Ambrosius says, and it is also to be found in the Decretum Gratiani: The bread which you withhold belongs to the hungry: the clothing you shut away, to the naked: and the money you bury in the earth is the redemption and freedom of the penniless. – Thomas Aquinas

Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious. – Thomas Aquinas

There is within every soul a thirst for happiness and meaning. – Thomas Aquinas

Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace. – Thomas Aquinas

Fear is such a powerful emotion for humans that when we allow it to take us over, it drives compassion right out of our hearts. – Thomas Aquinas

To love God is something greater than to know Him. – Thomas Aquinas

God is never angry for His sake, only for ours. – Thomas Aquinas

Love takes up where knowledge leaves off. – Thomas Aquinas

The soul is like an uninhabited world that comes to life only when God lays His head against us. – Thomas Aquinas

Nothing created has ever been able to fill the heart of man. God alone can fill it infinitely. – Thomas Aquinas

The light of faith makes us see what we believe. – Thomas Aquinas

He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust. – Thomas Aquinas

To pretend angels do not exist because they are invisible is to believe we never sleep because we don’t see ourselves sleeping. – Thomas Aquinas

One aspect of neighbourly love is that we must not merely will our neighbors good, but actually work to bring it about. – Thomas Aquinas

The Cross to me is certain salvation. The Cross is that which I ever adore. The Cross of the Lord is with me. The Cross is my refuge. – Thomas Aquinas

In the life of the body a man is sometimes sick, and unless he takes medicine, he will die. Even so in the spiritual life a man is sick on account of sin. For that reason, he needs medicine so that he may be restored to health; and this grace is bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance. – Thomas Aquinas

Charity is not a potency of the soul, because if it were it would be natural. Nor is it a passion, because it is not in a sensitive potency in which are all passions. Nor is it a habit, because a habit is removed with difficulty; charity, however, is easily lost through one act of mortal sin. Therefore, charity is not something created in the soul. – Thomas Aquinas

Sing, my tongue, the Savior’s glory, Of His Flesh, the mystery sing; Of the Blood, all price exceeding, Shed by our Immortal King, Destined, for the world’s redemption, From a noble Womb to spring. – Thomas Aquinas

Love works in a circle, for the beloved moves the lover by stamping a likeness, and the lover then goes out to hold the beloved in reality. Who first was the beginning now becomes the end of motion. – Thomas Aquinas

Man is closer to God according to his existence in grace than he is according to his existence in nature. – Thomas Aquinas

I cannot go on…. All that I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me. – Thomas Aquinas

For just as the first general precepts of the law of nature are self-evident to one in possession of natural reason, and have no need of promulgation, so also that of believing in God is primary and self-evident to one who has faith: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is. – Thomas Aquinas

God himself would not permit evil in this world if good did not come of it for the benefit and harmony of the universe. – Thomas Aquinas

He who achieves power by violence does not truly become lord or master. – Thomas Aquinas

Because the divine goodness could not be adequately represented by one creature alone, God produced many and diverse creatures, that what was wanting in one in the representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another. For goodness, which in God is simple and uniform, in creatures is manifold and divided. Thus, the whole universe together participates in the divine goodness more perfectly and represents it better than any single creature. – Thomas Aquinas

In the end, we know God as unknown. – Thomas Aquinas

There is no leisure about politics. – Thomas Aquinas

Far graver is it to corrupt the faith that is the life of the soul than to counterfeit the money that sustains temporal life. – Thomas Aquinas

It is only God who creates. Man merely rearranges. – Thomas Aquinas

It must be understood that prime matter, and form as well, is neither generated nor corrupted, because every generation is from something to something. Now that from which generation proceeds is matter, and that to which it proceeds is form. So that, if matter or form were generated, there would be a matter for matter and a form for form, endlessly. Whence, there is generation only of the composite, properly speaking. – Thomas Aquinas

Future contingents cannot be certain to us, because we know them as such. They can be certain only to God whose understanding is in eternity above time. Just as a man going along a road does not see those who come after him; but the man who sees the whole road from a height sees all those who are going along the road at the same time. – Thomas Aquinas

If the motion of the earth were circular, it would be violent and contrary to nature, and could not be eternal, since nothing violent is eternal. It follows, therefore, that the earth is not moved with a circular motion. – Thomas Aquinas

Greed is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things, – Thomas Aquinas

A man should remind himself that an object of faith is not scientifically demonstrable, lest presuming to demonstrate what is of faith, he should produce inconclusive reasons and offer occasion for unbelievers to scoff at a faith based on such ground. – Thomas Aquinas

Obedience unites us so closely to God that it in a way transforms us into Him, so that we have no other will but His. If obedience is lacking, even prayer cannot be pleasing to God. – Thomas Aquinas

The image of God always abides in the soul, whether this image be obsolete and clouded over as to amount to almost nothing; or whether it be obscured or disfigured, as is the case with sinners; or whether it be clear and beautiful as is the case with the just. – Thomas Aquinas

The celebration of Holy Mass is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the cross. – Thomas Aquinas

Angels transcend every religion, every philosophy, every creed. In fact, Angels have no religion as we know it… Their existence precedes every religious system that has ever existed on Earth. – Thomas Aquinas

Faith will tell us Christ is present, when our human senses fail. – Thomas Aquinas

There is but one Church in which men find salvation, just as outside the ark of Noah it was not possible for anyone to be saved. – Thomas Aquinas

Bestow upon me, O Lord my God, understanding to know thee, diligence to seek thee, wisdom to find thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace thee. – Thomas Aquinas

Without doubt one is allowed to resist against the unjust aggressor to one’s life, one’s goods or one’s physical integrity; sometimes, even ’til the aggressor’s death… In fact, this act is aimed at preserving one’s life or one’s goods and to make the aggressor powerless. Thus, it is a good act, which is the right of the victim. – Thomas Aquinas

Miracles are signs not to them that believe, but to them that believe not. – Thomas Aquinas

Mary means Star of the sea, for as mariners are guided to port by the ocean star, so Christians attain to glory through Mary’s maternal intercession. – Thomas Aquinas

To convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them. – Thomas Aquinas

We should love others truly, for their own sakes rather than our own. – Thomas Aquinas

For in order that man may do well, whether in the works of the active life, or in those of the contemplative life, he needs the fellowship of friends. – Thomas Aquinas

Perfection of moral virtue does not wholly take away the passions but regulates them. – Thomas Aquinas

Whatever is received is received according to the nature of the recipient. – Thomas Aquinas

The truth of the Christian faith surpasses the capacity of reason. – Thomas Aquinas

We set forth our petitions before God, not in order to make known to Him our needs and desires, but rather so that we ourselves may realize that in these things it is necessary to turn to God for help. – Thomas Aquinas

Good can exist without evil, whereas evil cannot exist without good. – Thomas Aquinas

A song is the exultation of the mind dwelling on eternal things, bursting forth in the voice. – Thomas Aquinas

One day when Thomas Aquinas was preaching to the local populace on the love of God, he saw an old woman listening attentively to his every word. And inspired by her eagerness to learn more about her God whom she loved so dearly, he said to the people: It is better to be this unlearned woman, loving God with all her heart, than the most learned theologian lacking love. – Thomas Aquinas

Every judgement of conscience, be it right or wrong, be it about things evil in themselves or morally indifferent, is obligatory, in such wise that he who acts against his conscience always sins. – Thomas Aquinas

Love is a binding force, by which another is joined to me and cherished by myself. – Thomas Aquinas

Mercy without justice is the mother of dissolution; justice without mercy is cruelty. – Thomas Aquinas

If, then, you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ, because He Himself is the way. – Thomas Aquinas

No man truly has joy unless he lives in love. – Thomas Aquinas

The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her; in fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing. . . .Again, errors have assailed her; but in fact, the greater the number of errors that have arisen, the more has the truth been made manifest… Nor has the Church failed before the assaults of demons: for she is like a tower of refuge to all who fight against the Devil. – Thomas Aquinas

The Study of philosophy is not that we may know what men have thought, but what the truth of things is. – Thomas Aquinas

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. – Thomas Aquinas

What does it take to become a saint? Will it. – Thomas Aquinas

Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained by man’s own will. – Thomas Aquinas

The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love; It signifies Love, it produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life. – Thomas Aquinas

Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand. – Thomas Aquinas

The fact that the evil ones, as long as they live, can be corrected from their errors does not prohibit that they may be justly executed, for the danger which threatens from their way of life is greater and more certain than the good which may be expected from their improvement. – Thomas Aquinas

Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do. – Thomas Aquinas

To bear with patience wrongs done to oneself is a mark of perfection, but to bear with patience wrongs done to someone else is a mark of imperfection and even of actual sin. – Thomas Aquinas

True peace consists in not separating ourselves from the will of God. – Thomas Aquinas

Faith is God’s work within us. – Thomas Aquinas

The greatest kindness one can render to any man consists in leading him from error to truth. – Thomas Aquinas

We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject, for both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in finding it. – Thomas Aquinas

To love is to will the good of the other. – Thomas Aquinas

God has no need for our worship. It is we who need to show our gratitude for what we have received. – Thomas Aquinas

Man cannot live without joy; therefore, when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures. – Thomas Aquinas

He (Mohammed) seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh urges us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected; he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity. – Thomas Aquinas

A man’s heart is right when he wills what God wills. – Thomas Aquinas

If you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust. – Thomas Aquinas

Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine. – Thomas Aquinas

One cannot use an evil action with reference to a good intention. – Thomas Aquinas

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Thomas Aquinas

How can we live in harmony? First, we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God. – Thomas Aquinas

If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever. – Thomas Aquinas

Of all the pursuits open to men, the search for wisdom is most perfect, more sublime, more profitable, and more full of joy. – Thomas Aquinas

When the devil is called the god of this world, it is not because he made it, but because we serve him with our worldliness. – Thomas Aquinas

Law; an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community. – Thomas Aquinas

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. – Thomas Aquinas

The theologian considers sin mainly as an offence against God, the moral philosopher as contrary to reasonableness. – Thomas Aquinas

Moral science is better occupied when treating of friendship than of justice. – Thomas Aquinas

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. – Thomas Aquinas

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. – Thomas Aquinas

God should not be called an individual substance, since the principal of individuation is matter. – Thomas Aquinas

It is possible to demonstrate God’s existence, although not a priori, yet a posteriori from some work of His more surely known to us. – Thomas Aquinas

If forgers and malefactors are put to death by the secular power, there is much more reason for excommunicating and even putting to death one convicted of heresy. – Thomas Aquinas

Now this relaxation of the mind from work consists on playful words or deeds. Therefore, it becomes a wise and virtuous man to have recourse to such things at times. – Thomas Aquinas

Man should not consider his material possession his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need. – Thomas Aquinas

We can’t have full knowledge all at once. We must start by believing; then afterwards we may be led on to master the evidence for ourselves. – Thomas Aquinas

Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder. – Thomas Aquinas

Pray thee, spare, thyself at times: for it becomes a wise man sometimes to relax the high pressure of his attention to work. – Thomas Aquinas

Law is nothing other than a certain ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by the person who has the care of the community. – Thomas Aquinas

By nature, all men are equal in liberty, but not in other endowments. – Thomas Aquinas

It is clear that he does not pray, who, far from uplifting himself to God, requires that God shall lower Himself to him, and who resorts to prayer not to stir the man in us to will what God wills, but only to persuade God to will what the man in us wills. – Thomas Aquinas

All that is true, by whomsoever it has been said has its origin in the Spirit. – Thomas Aquinas

Human salvation demands the divine disclosure of truths surpassing reason. – Thomas Aquinas

The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false. – Thomas Aquinas

Three conditions are necessary for Penance: contrition, which is sorrow for sin, together with a purpose of amendment; confession of sins without any omission; and satisfaction by means of good works. – Thomas Aquinas

How is it they live in such harmony the billions of stars – when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their minds about someone they know. – Thomas Aquinas

Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious. – Thomas Aquinas

The principal act of courage is to endure and withstand dangers doggedly rather than to attack them. – Thomas Aquinas

The test of the artist does not lie in the will with which he goes to work, but in the excellence of the work he produces. – Thomas Aquinas

Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate. – Thomas Aquinas

It is necessary to posit something which is necessary of itself and has no cause of its necessity outside of itself but is the cause of necessity in other things. And all people call this thing God. – Thomas Aquinas

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. – Thomas Aquinas

Because we cannot know what God is, but only what He is not, we cannot consider how He is but only how He is not. – Thomas Aquinas

Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason. – Thomas Aquinas

All the efforts of the human mind cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly. – Thomas Aquinas

To live well is to work well, to show a good activity. – Thomas Aquinas

A man has free choice to the extent that he is rational. – Thomas Aquinas

Justice is a certain rectitude of mind whereby a man does what he ought to do in the circumstances confronting him. – Thomas Aquinas

Hold firmly that our faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this, and you dissolve the unity of the Church. – Thomas Aquinas

Distinctions drawn by the mind are not necessarily equivalent to distinctions in reality. – Thomas Aquinas

Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches. – Thomas Aquinas

Reason in man is rather like God in the world. – Thomas Aquinas

Temperance is simply a disposition of the mind which binds the passion. – Thomas Aquinas

Love must precede hatred, and nothing is hated save through being contrary to a suitable thing which is loved. And hence it is that every hatred is caused by love. – Thomas Aquinas

The knowledge of God is the cause of things. For the knowledge of God is to all creatures what the knowledge of the artificer is to things made by his art. – Thomas Aquinas

saving Victim, opening wide the gate of heaven to man below, Our foes press on from every side, Thine aid supply, Thy strength bestow. – Thomas Aquinas

To restore man, who had been laid low by sin, to the heights of divine glory, the Word of the eternal Father, though containing all things within His immensity, willed to become small. This He did not by putting aside His greatness but by taking to Himself our littleness. – Thomas Aquinas

Theology is taught by God, teaches God, and leads to God. – Thomas Aquinas

We can open our hearts to God, but only with Divine help. – Thomas Aquinas

To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every preacher and of each believer. – Thomas Aquinas

The fire of hell is called eternal, only because it never ends. Still, there is change in the pains of the lost…Hence in hell true eternity does not exist, but rather time. – Thomas Aquinas

Not everyone who is enlightened by an angel knows that he is enlightened by him. – Thomas Aquinas

Beauty adds to goodness a relation to the cognitive faculty: so thatgoodmeans that which simply pleases the appetite, while the beautiful is something pleasant to apprehend. – Thomas Aquinas

Whatever was in the human nature of Christ was moved at the bidding of the divine will; yet it does not follow that in Christ there was no movement of the will proper to human nature, for the good wills of other saints are moved by God’s will… For although the will cannot be inwardly moved by any creature, yet it can be moved inwardly by God. – Thomas Aquinas

Gods are called many by the error of some who worshipped many deities, thinking as they did the planets and other stars were gods, and also the separate parts of the world. – Thomas Aquinas

To be united to God in unity of person was not fitting to human flesh, according to its natural endowments, since it was above his dignity; nevertheless, it was fitting that God, by reason of his infinite goodness, should unite it to himself for human salvation. – Thomas Aquinas

What can be accomplished by a few principles is not effected by many. But it seems that everything we see in the world can be accounted for by other principles, supposing God did not exist. For all-natural things can be reduced to one principle, which is nature, and all voluntary things can be reduced to one principle, which is human reason, or will. Therefore, there is no need to suppose God’s existence. – Thomas Aquinas

It would be superfluous to receive by faith, things that can be known by natural reason – Thomas Aquinas

The same fire (which he decides to be material)torments the damned in hell and the just in purgatory…The least pain in purgatory exceeds the greatest in this life. – Thomas Aquinas

For it is necessary in every practical science to proceed in a composite (i.e. deductive) manner. On the contrary in speculative science, it is necessary to proceed in an analytical manner by breaking down the complex into elementary principles. – Thomas Aquinas

The perfection of the effect demonstrates the perfection of the cause, for a greater power brings about a more perfect effect. But God is the most perfect agent. Therefore, things created by Him obtain perfection from Him. So, to detract from the perfection of creatures is to detract from the perfection of divine power. – Thomas Aquinas

I cannot understand how anyone conscious of mortal sin can laugh or be merry. – Thomas Aquinas

Here ‘neath veils, my Savior darkly I behold; To my thirsting spirit all thy light unfold; Face to face in heaven let me come to thee, And the blessed vision of thy glory see. – Thomas Aquinas

Jesus Lord, kind Pelican, Cleanse my filth with Thy blood, One drop of which can save The whole world from all its sin – Thomas Aquinas

how unspeakable is this Sacrament which sets our affections ablaze with charity. … It is the fulfillment of Christ’s Mystical Body. – Thomas Aquinas

God answered the prayers of animals. – Thomas Aquinas

Godhead here in hiding, whom I adore Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more, See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art – Thomas Aquinas

Being born he have himself as our Companion, Eating with us he gave himself as Food, Dying He became our Ransom, Reigning he gives himself as our Reward – Thomas Aquinas

Any error about creation also leads to an error about God. – Thomas Aquinas

It is written: Wizards thou shalt not suffer to live (Ex. 22:18); and: In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land (Ps. 100:8). … – Thomas Aquinas

He who does not embrace the teaching of the Church does not have the habit of faith. – Thomas Aquinas

But man is freer than all the animals, on account of his free-will, with which he is endowed above all other animals. – Thomas Aquinas

The Bread of angels has become the Bread of mankind; This heavenly Bread puts an end to all images; O wonderful reality! The poor, the slave, and the humble can eat the Lord. – Thomas Aquinas

The soul is known by it’s acts. – Thomas Aquinas

Venial sin becomes mortal sin when one approves it as an end. . . – Thomas Aquinas

Whenever God wakes in us, our thinking becomes clear – nothing is missing. – Thomas Aquinas

The greater the charity of the Saints in their heavenly home, the more they intercede for those who are still on their journey and the more they can help them by their prayers; the more they are united with God, the more effective those prayers are. This is in accordance with Divine order, which makes higher things react upon lower things, like the brightness of the sun filling the atmosphere. – Thomas Aquinas

The meaning of what is said is according to the motive for saying it: because things are not subject to speech, but speech to things. Therefore, we should take account of the motive of the lawgiver, rather than of his very words. – Thomas Aquinas

An act of love always tends towards two things; to the good that one wills, and to the person for whom one wills it. – Thomas Aquinas

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