Friday, June 22, 2007

Feast of St. Thomas More

Over at Catholic Sensibility, a neat write up about a modern opera, the Passion of St. Thomas More, which I want to hear now. (Though, frankly, I have a tough time imagining one of my favorite saints as a soprano :). Via Rich Leonardi, H.V. Morton's reflections on visiting the Tower, and more links. And the mother of all links and information about Sir Thomas at Pro Ecclesia.

Maybe it's time to dig up that DVD of
""A Man for all seasons." I actually saw that as a teenager with my father. He loved Paul Scoefield's performance tremendously. Besides, he was an inveterate anglophile. :-)

Here's his Psalm on Detachment (also via Pro Ecclesia). A beautiful prayer, especially for a Friday.
Psalm on Detachment

Give me thy grace, good Lord:
To set the world at nought;
To set my mind fast upon thee,
And not to hang upon the blast of men’s mouths;
To be content to be solitary,
Not to long for worldly company;
Little and little utterly to cast off the world,
And rid my mind of all the business thereof;
Not to long to hear of any worldly things,
But that the hearing of worldly phantasies may be to me displeasant;
Gladly to be thinking of God,
Piteously to call for his help;
To lean unto the comfort of God,
Busily to labor to love him;
To know mine own vility and wretchedness,
To humble and meeken myself under the mighty hand of God;
To bewail my sins passed,
For the purging of them patiently to suffer adversity;
Gladly to bear my purgatory here,
To be joyful of tribulations;
To walk the narrow way that leadeth to life,
To bear the cross with Christ;
To have the last thing in remembrance,
To have ever afore mine eye my death that is ever at hand;
To make death no stranger to me,
To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of hell;
To pray for pardon before the judge come,
To have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me;
For his benefits uncessantly to give him thanks,
To buy the time again that I before have lost;
To abstain from vain confabulations,
To eschew light foolish mirth and gladness;
Recreations not necessary — to cut off;
Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss
at right nought for the winning of Christ;
To think my most enemies my best friends,
For the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good
with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.

These minds are more to be desired of every man than all the treasure
of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it
gathered and laid together all upon one heap .

~ St. Thomas More, Written while imprisoned in the Tower of London, 1534

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Definitely see the film again. Bolt closely followed this contemporary account of the trial and execution (click on one of the links at the top of the page for the rest of the account).

I've also been told that there's a lot of material taken directly from More in the rest of the play.