Friday, July 17, 2009

St. Thomas More on Love

Lessons from the Saints

In the book "A Portrait of Courage", on St. Thomas More, the author Gerard Wegemer writes about his disposition after the trial and then provides this beautiful quote from him. Mr. Wegemer writes;

After a trial of such spectacular injustice, what stood out above everything else was More's unshakeable serenity and good humor. Even at the close of his trial, when he was asked for his final statement, he prayed that all who opposed him at the trial might continue as his "friends forever" and that they might "yet hereafter in heaven merrily all meet together." We find this same gracious sentiment interspersed throughout the prayers and instructions which he wrote at the end of his life. In one of these final instructions, More presents a logical argument for treating enemies well:

"Bear no malice or evil will to any man living . For either the man is good or wicked. If he is good and I hate him, then I am wicked.

If he is wicked, either he will amend and die good and go to God, or live wickedly and die wickedly and go to the devil. And then let me remember that if he be saved, he will not fail (if I am saved too, as I trust to be) to love me very heartily and I shall then in like manner love him.

And why should I now, then, hate one for this while who shall hereafter love me forever, and why should I be now, then, an enemy to him with whom I shall in time be coupled in eternal friendship? And on the other side, if he will continue to be wicked and be damned, then is there such outrageous eternal sorrow before him that I may well think myself a deadly cruel wretch if I would not now rather pity his pain than malign his person."

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