Prayer of Saint Thomas Aquinas before Reading and Study

Grant me grace, O merciful God, to desire ardently all that is pleasing to thee,
to examine it prudently,
to acknowledge it truthfully,
and to accomplish it perfectly
for the praise and glory of thy name. Amen

The eight videos you have watched, are watching, will watch, provide a skeleton of the moral philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. This is quite close to that of Aristotle so the course puts you in possession of one of the main traditions of moral philosophy. But it is not the history of the discipline that is our interest here; rather we are setting forth as true a way of understanding and appraising ourselves as moral agents that you can assess by appeal to what you already know as well as to your expanding knowledge of the discipline.

Now you have decided to earn credit for this course. Obviously this requires much more of you than following the presentation of the taped lectures. In what follows, in sixteen steps, you are going to have to fulfill the requirements for three credits of graduate work in philosophy. More sophisticated arguments, further reading, and writing will be demanded of you.

The chief books for this course are:

Thomas Aquinas Selected Writings, Penguin Classic, 1998.

Thomas Aquinas: Disputed Questions on Virtue, translation and preface by Ralph McInerny, South Bend: St. Augustine's Press, 1998. Students can get this book from Saint Augustine's Press:

Ethica Thomistica, Ralph McInerny, Catholic University of America Press, 1997.

John Paul II, The Splendor of Truth. St. Paul Books and Media, 1993.

John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, St. Paul Books and Media, 1995.

Each of the sixteen lessons that follow will allude to other titles and you will find as well a select bibliography to expand your knowledge beyond the specific demands of this course.

Ralph McInerny


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