ST. THOMAS belongs to that class of Tertiaries who have grasped
the true spirit
of their Seraphic Father. It is a spirit of deep-seated piety and of contempt for
the world, as well as of unswerving fidelity to Holy church practiced in an
exceptional degree and sealed with one's blood.
As the father of a family, he was concerned that his children should be reared in
the fear of God. He became famous for his book entitled "Utopia." By means of this
"Kingdom of Nowhere" he scourged in fine satire the evils that were eating their
way into the Church and the State.
Through Henry VIII he became attached to the royal court and was finally appointed
Lord High Chancellor. The time had now arrived in which this Tertiary was to manifest
how sincerely he had grasped the spirit of the Saint of Assisi. As was to be expected,
even as a statesman Thomas continued to make as his accustomed religious exercises.
He set aside every Friday as a day of introspection. His charity was without limit.
He experienced special delight in serving the priest at holy Mass, and he received Holy
Communion daily. He was told, by way of reproach, that it was unbecoming for a layman
with so much work to do and so many distractions to communicate daily. But he replied,
"You are advancing the very reasons for the need for frequent holy Communion. If I am
distracted, holy Communion helps me to be come recollected if opportunities are
offered me each day to offend my God, I arm myself anew each day for the combat
by the reception of the Eucharist. If I am in special need of light and prudence
in order to discharge my burdensome duties, I draw nigh to my Savior and seek
counsel and light from Him."
But it was not long before his doom was sealed. Blinded by unholy passions, King
Henry divorced his lawful wife and married Anne Boleyn, a lady in waiting at the
court. When Rome justly condemned this adulterous act, the king severed his
connections with Rome and set himself up as the head of the Church in England.
The first person that opposed the king was Thomas More. He was cast into prison.
When his wife endeavored to persuade him to give up his opposition and prolong his
life, he asked her just how long she believed he would live. She answered, "at least
twenty years." He answered, "Had you said a few thousand years, that might make a
difference. But surely even he would be a poor merchant who would run the risk of
losing an eternity for the sake of a thousand years." He was beheaded on July 6, 1535.
Pope Leo XIII beatified this great Tertiary, and Pope Plus XI canonized him on May 19, 1935
ON LOYALTY TO CHRIST
Be loyal to Christ by your love for the Blessed Sacrament. Faith taught Thomas to
behold in the Sacred Host Him who said; "This is My Body!" It was, therefore, his
greatest delight and duty to attend the holy Sacrifice daily, to serve the priests
of Christ, and to receive Christ in Holy Communion. Can this also be said of you?