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St. Thomas More’s prayer for our divided times

TOMASZ MORUS
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Written while he was in prison in 1534, it seems just what we need today

When St. Thomas More was imprisoned in the Tower of London, he wrote in 1534 this string of reflection-meditations … goals for his soul as he endured the separation from family, friends and freedom.

In the divided and polemical times in which we live, so many of the saintly prisoner’s prayers should be our own:

Give me Your grace, good Lord, to set the world at nought, to set my mind fast upon You. 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-death-in remembrance. To have ever afore mine 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 incessantly 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 see the loss as 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.

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