Calvinism says that God chooses for those who are damned to be damned. He almost choses them to sin and wills them toward evil with his antecedent will. In Thomism, the only thing that God wishes or wills with His antecedent will is that all men are saved, but in order that a greater good may exist, He allows some men to be damned.
I understand that there is a difference between Calvinism and Thomism, at least abstractly. But it seems, at least to me, that it is more a matter of speculative theology than anything actual. Whether God specifically chooses people to be damned, or God merely allows some people to suffer the justice of their own freely chosen sins, as long as it is impossible for someone to be saved unless God chooses them to be saved, then the end result seems to be the same: those who are damned are so because God did not choose for them to be saved, and they were incapable of avoiding a situation that they were ultimately born into, not one that they freely chose (since it is Catholic teaching that even if someone dies with Original Sin alone, they would go to hell).
Now, this means that God only wills individuals to election. Those that are damned are done so only by their own sins. It is true that God allows this to happen but only by his permissive will, again, so that a greater good can result.
What greater good can there be for humanity, or for God in respect to his relationship with humanity, than that all people be saved?
This greater good is that justice is satisfied and that God shows not just His mercy but also His justice. I trust that you understand why this is essential. Recall that no man can move himself to salvation. Only God has the power to do that, as we are told in the Scriptures. God is the source of all grace, and even accepting grace takes a certain kind of grace, thus we can't attribute our salvation at all to ourselves, but only to God. Thus God could choose between saving everyone, saving some, or damning everyone. The second option is the only one which allows for Him to be both just and merciful.
I understand why it's essential from an academic perspective, but look at it on an individual level. The person who is elect is shown mercy, so justice is not satisfied there. Likewise, the reprobate is shown justice so has no concept in his experience of anything more than a fleeting, circumstantial mercy at various points in his life before eternal damnation. In order for God to be truly just, wouldn't he have to give everyone at least the initial grace to be able to choose or reject him? But if he does give that initial grace to everyone, isn't that contrary to an essential point of the Thomistic philosophy on this issue? That is, that that initial grace would be completely superfluous if God does not follow up with the efficacious grace to complete the transaction, so to speak?
Perhaps this is tangential, but this thought just popped into my mind. If it is just that we all deserve eternal damnation merely for original sin, that we are all collectively responsible and collectively culpable for Adam's personal sin, why are we not also collectively eligible for salvation due to Christ's personal redemptive action? I don't believe in universal salvation, but if Christ is the new Adam, why then does not his redemption effect all of mankind as Adam's sin, the antitypical antecedent, effected all of mankind? How is it just to hold all men accountable for the sin of Adam but to elect certain people on an individual basis?