One of the most profound changes in my life has come through studying St. Thomas Aquinas on religion (cf. ST II-II.81ff). For two years I have been daily influenced by the wisdom of the Dumb Ox, and I can see clearly the need for a greater appreciation for religion during this era of the New Evangelization. The Angelic Doctor teaches that religion isn’t a thing, a belief-system, or an organized institution, but, rather, it is a virtue: i.e., it is something we do that makes us a better human. In a nut-shell, the virtue of religion religion is intentionally doing things for God because we recognize how great and good He is. In other words, religion teaches us how to properly worship God. Developing this virtue perfects us by properly giving direction and order to our life. Just as an archer aims an arrow towards the target, so religion aims us towards God. The awesome thing about religion is that we can practice it anywhere. You can cook dinner for God. You can study for God. You can donate to a charitable organization for God. As Christians, the best place to both learn religion and practice it is at the Mass. Why? Because we are sharing in Jesus’s own worship of God, as He offers Himself to God, for us, on the Cross. Since Jesus’s worship is obviously perfect (cf. Hebrews 9:11-14), our sharing in the Mass is a sharing in the greatest act of worship ever. As St. Thomas points out (ST II-II.82.2), the more we worship God, the more we love God; and the more we love God, the more we worship Him. Becoming an intentional Christian means, through faith, becoming intentional in our relationship with God, strengthened by true religion, and perfected by love.