Monday, June 23, 2008

Deacon Keith Fournier on St. Thomas More

Deacon Keith Fournier writes about St. Thomas More at Catholic Online:
... He was an ordinary Christian who shows us ordinary Christians the way to living a unity of life in the midst of the creeping darkness and distractions of our own age. He held in harmony his vocation as the father of a family with his profession as a lawyer and his service in the highest of Political offices. He knew that there is a hierarchy of values which bring with them a hierarchy of duties and loyalties. His witness in life and in death challenges us to examine whether we do.

How did he do it? Quite simply,he prayed.He lived in a communion with the Risen Lord as a faithful son of the Church which is His Body.He was a man who loved the Lord in the Heart of the Catholic Church. His very real and sincerely lived piety has filled the books written about him and the writings he left for our own growth and edification. Perhaps a few of the many anecdotes can help to express the spirit of his true devotion.

Thomas would meditate on the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ every Friday, the day on which Our Lord suffered and died. This was only a part of how he integrated the pattern of the Liturgical year of the Church and Catholic life and culture into his own lived faith. He also practiced regular ascetical disciplines which he always offered in love to the Lord. In fact, even while he suffered in that Tower, awaiting a Martyrs death, he continued the regimen.

He knew, and he teaches us, that the Christian vocation requires our constant response to the Lord’s invitation to follow him and that we cannot get by on yesterdays’ decisions. During that brief time which he had with his family, after attempting to quietly resign rather than violate his formed conscience and before he was imprisoned, when his wife or children complained about their lack he would tell them that they could not expect to “go to heaven in featherbeds”. He taught them regularly to reflect upon the privation and sufferings of Jesus on our behalf and he prayed with them for the grace to join their own to Him on the Cross.

Thomas More was, in short, a Christian. That is the lesson of his life and of his Martyrs death.

On his day, we Catholics, indeed all faithful Christians who live in the contemporary West, face a similar challenge to that which faced St. Thomas More. The attacks on true marriage are well underway. We are being invited to compromise for our own convenience and tempted to accept the rulings of Judicial Oligarchs and Alchemists who think that they can change the nature of this institution by the stroke of a pen. Their collaborators in political office, some of whom are apostate Catholics, are now beginning to wield the figurative sword of temporal power against us...


Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Thomas More's Children

A Man For All Seasons: The Feast Day of St. Thomas More is 22 June

Actor Paul Scofield - Who Won Oscar for Portrayal of St. Thomas More - Dead at 86

Prayers for a Friday of Lent

Birthday of St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More on the Distribution of Wealth

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