In the month of June the Church celebrated the memorials of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, Martyrs for the Faith during the time of King Henry III in England as they gave up their lives as a testimony to the unity of the Church and sacredness of the Sacrament of Marriage. As we celebrate the life of our patron Saint at the High School of Saint Thomas More, it is a reminder to us all that we can become great saints by following our own conscience and living a life of faith even when it can be most difficult.
Thomas More was born in 1478 to a well to do family in London where he grew up receiving a quality education. More eventually went on to study at Oxford in 1492 where he would go on to become a lawyer, politician, author, and eventually Lord Chancellor of England in 1529. Thomas also was married with four children and later remarried after his first wife passed away. Throughout his life however, More was a man of God even discerning the religious life as a young man and living a life of prayer and penance. As a man of God however, it is his steadfast faith to follow his conscience that is an example for us.
After Thomas More was Chancellor of England, King Henry VIII divorced his wife, remarried, and eventually declared himself the Head of the Church of England. Thomas however, remained faithful to the Church and his conscience knowing the marriage to be unlawful and that the Pope was the true successor of Peter and leader of the Catholic Church. While many politicians, businessmen, bishops, and other prominent Englishman signed the “Act of Succession,” Thomas refused to, which led to him being locked in the Tower of London, charged with treason, and on July 6th, 1535 was beheaded.
There are many times in our days, lives, and world that we can easily “give in” to doing what is easy, taking a shortcut, giving into temptation, or doing something that is seen as “popular.” At school it can be easy to copy a classmates’ homework, write notes to use on an assessment, join the crowd in immoral actions, or back down from doing the right thing in following our conscience. As adults it can be easy to give in, to hide our faith in the workplace, to bypass our values and morals, or fall in our example of integrity and faith for our students and children. In our world they are those faced with persecution for their faith, pushed to the side in business and politics for following a moral law, and even losing their lives for following their conscience. So, when the situation we are faced with or the tough decision must be made how do we do it?
We can look to St. Thomas More for is his example of perseverance and prudence in following his conscience at a time when not many were in England. There are many Christians in our world today who live as an example of light amongst the darkness in giving up material goods and positions of powers, follow a moral law, etc. all because of their perseverance and keeping their eyes fixed on Christ who is our source of moral strength tofollow our conscience. Jesus promised his disciples that they would face persecution, but perseverance and prudence in the face of persecution will lead to true happiness.
In one of his general audiences, Pope Francis spoke about how “we now look to the saints, to “those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith.” Although at times we may feel that we can’t be saints or that it is too difficult to be a saint in our world today, the saints remind us that a life of holiness is attainable. It is God who gives us the grace needed to live a life of faith and we can ask for the saints’ intercessions daily as they have paved that road of faith for us.
Let us ask for St. Thomas More’s intercession for our students and for ourselves to have the courage and perseverance in following our conscience to be prudent in making the right decision - especially decisions that may go against the crowd, may not be popular, or may be persecuted for, but to make that decision that helps us on our walk of Faith in life. May we always have the strength to say with St. Thomas More - “I am the king’s good servant, but God’s first.”
St. Thomas More...Pray for us!
August Save the Dates!
- 2nd STM Registration
- 16th First Day of School for Freshman & New Students - Welcome to STM for new families
- 17th 1st Full Day of Class and Fall Sports Kickoff