Whenever someone asks me what’s your favorite movie of all time, I answer “Man For All Seasons”…the story of St. Thomas Moore.
The film depicts the final year of St. Thomas Moore, the 16th-century Lord Chancellor of England who refused to sign a letter asking Pope Clement VII to annul Henry VIII of England’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Paul Scofield, played Moore in the film winning the Best Actor award. The movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Today is the feast of St. Thomas Moore…, a husband and father, a lawyer, a great man, and most of all a great saint. St. Thomas Moore was a man of eloquent speech, but more importantly a man of action…he actually lived out what he believed.
Referencing John 13:17, Thomas says “our savior clearly declares that the bliss of heaven will not be attained by knowing about virtue but rather by becoming virtuous… knowing the way to heaven can never take us there unless we are willing to walk in that way.” (ref. Magnificat, June 22, 2021,pg. 323).
Thomas was not a politician telling people what they wanted to hear so as to win their favor. The only favor he desired was God’s favor. His famous line as he was ready to be beheaded was, “ I die his Majesty’s good servant, but God’s first.”
I find myself uncomfortable reading about St. Thomas Moore. He didn’t mince words… he didn’t make excuses for weakness… he didn’t run from his responsibility, regardless of the cost. “Let us always make ourselves ready for death with nothing left undone… and able to say ‘I have done my duty… all that I came into this world to do’.” Thomas made it clear that heaven is at stake.
St. Thomas pray for all of us in these desperate times, that we might not shrink back from our duties and one day win the “crown of life”.