Friday, June 22, 2012

Office of Thomas More for the Fortnight

"Nothing can come but what God wills. And I am very sure that whatever that may be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best." 
-from a letter written in prison to his daughter, Office of Readings

St. Thomas More is the patron of the Fortnight for Freedom, therefore it is fitting to use his office today (everything in the proper of saints and Common of Martyrs) rather than the weekday. Fitting both for us in the United States as well as our brethren in Canada, whose bishops have also begun to stir in defense or badly eroded religious liberty

If you neglected More today and did the regular office, at least go back to the Office of Readings and see his letter to his daughter, Margaret, quoted above. (scroll way, way down on the ibreviary widget on the right to find it.)  Thinking of St. Thomas today, and asking his intercession in regard to our troubles, will help us put things in perspective: at this point in the United States, we are still only at the level of experiencing what a popular meme would call "first world Catholic problems."  Yes, we should work hard and fight, with all the tools that a free people have, against what the government is doing. At the same time, realize that we don't have it so bad compared to what happens to many Christians around the world this very day. This is not China. This is not Egypt. This is not Mexico in 1920.  We might get there yet, but at this point we can still be happy warriors. (and should remain happy warriors no matter what happens, of course, but at this point it is still quite easy to do so.)
The example of St. Thomas also forces us to consider the possibility that things might get worse. Much worse.   Maybe, in the Divine Economy, it is our turn to face loss of property, imprisonment, or death within the next generation or two.  Who knows? More tells us that should this come to pass, it "shall indeed be best." Meditate on that for the day.

Or if meditation is too hard in this summer heat, watch A Man for All Seasons with your kids.

One more quote from St. Thomas that I love is from a prayer he wrote in prison. A great metaphor in this line about human respect:
Give me the grace, good Lord, to set the world at naught;
to set my mind fast upon Thee 
and not to hang upon the blast of men's mouths.

St. Thomas More, pray for us.