A Prayer by Thomas More (A Few Words for Wednesday)

I have written before about Thomas More, and he remains one of the reasons I am a Catholic today. A Man for All Seasons was an early influence, and I still play the video (old VHS format) regularly. When I was in RCIA in the fall of 2007, I went to a lawyer’s funeral and received a Thomas More prayer card, which I still treasure. On it was a short version of the so-called “Lawyer’s Prayer” below.

Consider that More wrote the following prayer while imprisoned in the Tower of London awaiting his execution. “To lean into the comfort of God.” I particularly like that phrase: 

Give me the grace, Good Lord,
To set the world at naught. To set the mind firmly on You and not to hang upon the words of men’s mouths.

To be content to be solitary. Not to long for worldly pleasures. Little by little utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of all its business.

Not to long to hear of earthly things, but that the hearing of worldly fancies may be displeasing to me.

Gladly to be thinking of God, piteously to call for His help. To lean into the comfort of God. Busily to labor to love Him.

To know my own vileness and wretchedness. To humble myself under the mighty hand of God. To bewail my sins and, for the purging of them, patiently to suffer adversity.

Gladly to bear my purgatory here. To be joyful in tribulations. To walk the narrow way that leads to life.

To have the last thing in remembrance. To have ever before my eyes 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 comes.

To have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me. For His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks.

To buy the time again that I have lost. To abstain from vain conversations. To shun foolish mirth and gladness. To cut off unnecessary recreations.

Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ.

To think my worst 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 treasures of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it gathered and laid together all in one heap.

Amen.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14664864341946607447 Terry Fenwick

    Thank you, Webster! Who does not love St. Thomas More? I do watch A Man For All Seasons every year and now own 2 DVD – the latest one has more information on St. Thomas More. Because of St. Thomas More, I believe I could welcome being beheaded. He gives us such hope. More difficult than physical death to me would be to have all my books taken from me as I waited in the cold cell. They were beyond cruel to him to do that.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14664864341946607447 Terry Fenwick

    "When death comes, and we stand before God, no king can command Him, no authority can restrain Him, no riches can hire Him to wait past his appointed time even one monent of an hour. Therefore let us speak what we are bound to speak and do the deeds we are called to do. No empty time is allowed to any of us." Saint Thomas More


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