Let’s raise a figurative glass (though it is noon somewhere) to St. Thomas More! If he’s not the only lawyer in Heaven, it would definitely have to be an exclusive group. One would think the temptation to perform jesuitical jujitsu in order to avoid a beheading would be nearly overwhelming but the saint did not succumb. [TSO]
I watched for the first time "A Man for All Seasons" on Fathers Day figuring it would be an apt day to watch it considering what a great father he was to his three daughters. I have previously read many of his letters and his novel Utopia (the term which he created). I do wonder exactly how many canonized saints have published a novel? With all the news this week about Episcopalians the movie was an interesting contrast. The Anglican Church created out of a desire for an annulment seems to now divorce itself further and further from Christianity as time passes.
I would be tempted to give the Clockwork Orange treatment to Catholic politicians and have them watch "A Man for All Seasons" over and over again till any phrases that start with "I’m Personally opposed, but .." are driven out of their heads. Being that St. Thomas More is the patron saint for politicians you just know he has got to be busy 24/7 or whatever term is applicable for aeveternity.
Of course today is also the feast day for St. John Fisher who was a Cardinal and Bishop of Rochester. I believe he was the only bishop in England not to sign the Act of Succession. At one point he had declared that, like St. John the Baptist, he was ready to die on behalf of the indissolubility of marriage The example he choose was a little too apt since eventually he was also beheaded, just not over a dance. We often complain about our bishops, but I have no doubt that if a parallel situation occurred that we would see many more than just one martyr among them.
In today’s Office of Reading from the Divine Office they had a wonderful letter that St. Thomas More wrote while imprisoned in the Tower of London to his daughter Margaret. Reading it you find that distinctive mark of sanctity where imprisonment was seen as a blessing and that during this time he grew even closer to God. This reminded me of the writing of St. John of the Cross where he wrote his deepest and most mystical writings after being imprisoned. That instead of righteous indignation for truly being imprisoned unfairly we find not bitterness, but holiness. That while we can be deprived of many material things and our freedom that we can’t be deprived of God. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" Rom 8:35
Aptly Archbishop Wuerl is being installed in our nation’s capital. St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher pray for us.