I try to make Sunday a "day of rest" (as hard as that can be) and so today after going to Mass at St. Thomas More parish across the street, I finally decided to watch the movie about this parish's namesake, entitled A Man For All Seasons. Perhaps you have seen it. If not, I heartily recommend checking it out. This film won the Oscar in 1966 for Best Picture along with 5 other Oscars. It also won great admiration from me of St. Thomas More, along with a few musings.
In the film, we see St. Thomas More (the patron saint of lawyers) exercising legal roles as well as being a trusted counselor of King Henry VIII. He is a layman, a husband, and a father. It is neat to see a saint who goes about his business, loves his family, and tries to do honest work. Too often perhaps we think that holiness is "out of one's league." Yet Blessed Mother Teresa tells us that "holiness is not the luxury of the few. It is a simply duty for you and for me."
Indeed, St. Thomas More is a devout Catholic. As we know, he eventually must choose between either supporting King Henry in his defiance of the Pope (which would mean More defying his own conscience) or losing his own life by execution.
In the film, you are blessed to see a person who knows the utmost importance of maintaining his own integrity and fidelity to God. As much as he loves his family, his love is rightly ordered. What good is he as a husband and father if he has betrayed the core of who he is as a Catholic man of faith? He knows that above all, he is God's very own, and that love is enough for him. In the film, he goes to the chopping block with a lively confidence of eternal life with God, forgiving his executioners, and saying "I die the king's good servant, but God's first."
I think that this movie portrays a compelling Christian "witness," the very meaning of the word "martyr." For years, St. Thomas More had already been a holy man who lived out his faith in daily life. For example, he dared to teach his daughter Latin, he wrote powerful philosophical reflections, and he refused the sway of bribes in court cases which were common. In the daily cauldron was forged a courage that could stand firm in the face of a king, a country, and death itself.
Welcome! My name is John Roselle, SJ, and I took lifelong ("perpetual") vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as a Jesuit on August 13th, 2011 after a two-year novitiate. I am now a Jesuit Scholastic for the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus. I will study philosophy and theology for the next three years at Loyola University in Chicago. At the same time, I will do part-time ministry in some capacity with the poor. After that, I will likely teach for three years before finishing three more years of theology. Then, God willing, I will be ordained a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest! It's a long road, but a blessed, fun, and enriching one. This blog exists as a resource for friends, family, and others who are interested in my progress through the Jesuit process of formation. Every day is its own adventure, and I am happy to have you along with me to share in this. This blog contains my own personal thoughts and should not be taken to speak for the entire Society of Jesus. Feel free to contact me. God bless you!