„What is most apparent and constant in Thomas' personality, the image he most likely had of himself, is the teacher. The saint was essentially a Doctor of the Church; the man was a teacher of theology and philosophy; the mystic never entirely separated his meditations from his teaching, which drew its inspiration from them.“

—  Étienne Gilson, Introduction
Étienne Gilson
1884 - 1978
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Context: The best educators are the ones that inspire their students. That inspiration comes from a passion that teachers have for the subject they're teaching. Most commonly, that person spent their lives studying that subject, and they bring an infectious enthusiasm to the audience.I think many people have that enthusiasm, but they are prevented from being teachers because they didn't go through the teacher mill. Now you have teachers who have been through the teacher mill, yet they have no capacity to inspire anyone at all. It's the inspired student that continues to learn on their own. That's what separates the real achievers in the world from those who pedal along, finishing assignments.

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„Strange as it sounds, although Man thought himself hardly treated in respect to freedom, yet, if freedom meant superiority, Man was in action much the superior of God, whose freedom suffered, from Saint Thomas, under restraints that Man never would have tolerated. Saint Thomas did not allow God even an undetermined will; he was pure Act, and as such he could not change. Man alone was, in act, allowed to change direction. What was more curious still, Man might absolutely prove his freedom by refusing to move at all; if he did not like his life, he could stop it, and habitually did so, or acquiesced in its being done for him; while God could not commit suicide or even cease for a single instant his continuous action. If Man had the singular fancy of making himself absurd,— a taste confined to himself but attested by evidence exceedingly strong,— he could be as absurd as he liked; but God could not be absurd. Saint Thomas did not allow the Deity the right to contradict himself, which is one of Man's chief pleasures. While Man enjoyed what was, for his purposes, an unlimited freedom to be wicked,— a privilege which, as both Church and State bitterlly complained and still complain, he has outrageously abused,— God was Goodness and could be nothing else. [... ] In one respect, at least, Man's freedom seemed to be not relative but absolute, for his thought was an energy paying no regard to space or time or order or object or sense; but God's thought was his act and will at once; speaking correctly, God could not think, he is. Saint Thomas would not, or could not, admit that God was Necessity, as Abélard seems to have held, but he refused to tolerate the idea of a divine maniac, free from moral obligation to himself. The atmosphere of Saint Louis surrounds the God of Saint Thomas, and its pure ether shuts out the corruption and pollution to come,— the Valois and Bourbons, the Occams and Hobbes's, the Tudors and the Medicis of an enlightened Europe.“

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„I have derived immense comfort, hope, faith, inspiration from a great American, the Cistercian monk-teacher-activist Thomas Merton.“

—  Patrick White English-born Australian writer 1912 - 1990
Context: I have derived immense comfort, hope, faith, inspiration from a great American, the Cistercian monk-teacher-activist Thomas Merton. Initially a contemplative religious, Merton's spiritual drive was aimed at halting the dehumanization of man in contemporary society, a sickness he saw as leading to mass violence and ultimately nuclear war. War of any kind is abhorrent. Remember that since the end of World War II, over 40 million people have been killed by conventional weapons. So, if we should succeed in averting nuclear war, we must not let ourselves be sold the alternative of conventional weapons for killing our fellow men. We must cure ourselves of the habit of war.

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