St Thomas Aquinas enjoys the repute of having given five proofs of God's existence, the famous ‘Five Ways’: Respondeo dicendum quod Deum esse probari potest quinque viis– I reply that you have to say that God's existence can be proved in five ways – and here they come! For students of philosophy they make their deadly, inescapable appearance in any and every manual, trotted out with a granite certainty comparable only to that with which we are assured that English Catholics once nearly succeeded in blowing up the Houses of Parliament. Here, however, our concern is with St Thomas's teaching method, rather than with a readers' consensus about what he said, that of a readership largely content to ignore the question: and this article is an endeavour, not indeed to ‘flog a dead horse’, but simply to explain the pedagogy implicit in the great Summa. That simply means, how to read it with as much ease and understanding as its author intended – and indeed indicated from his opening sentence onwards. The article ends by mentioning some highly regrettable consequences of the neglect, briefly updating (if the paradox be allowed) the post-Tridentine moral tradition, by adding to it from St Thomas's nowadays largely forgotten legacy.