A Bit More Serious
August 9, 2005 § 2 Comments
Perhaps I can “muse” a bit more seriously today. Yesterday Mommy and I were working on planning the itinerary for the England trip and came across a play running in Stratford-Upon-Avon called “Thomas More”. This reminded me that I hadn’t watched A Man for All Seasons – one of my favorite films – in ages, so I settled down and watched it last night. What a fantastic film; I think it improves upon repeated viewings.
But the most amazing part of the story is, of course, its central character St. Thomas More. His early career, some say, was overshadowed by his father but his intellectual brilliance and sharp wit helped him to rise quickly in the world. Lord Chancellor of the Realm towards the end of his life, he held a position second only in authority and influence to the king. He could have had anything he wanted, but instead resigned because of his decision not to sign the Act of Sucession and declare the king the Supreme Pontiff of the Church in England. As was shown in the film, he very carefully avoided really saying anything on the subject, and eventually a crime had to be invented so that the government could take him down. St. Thomas More was executed on Tower Hill, his head piked on Tower Bridge as a warning to those who would betray their government.
Here, of course, the government was wrong. St. Thomas More was not a traitor, but a patriot and a hero. Not a fool, but a wise man. Not a criminal, but a martyr.
We today have a lot to learn from this great man. In his own words, St. Thomas died “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.” He loved England to the depth of his being, which is why he stood steadfast against the king to the very end. He could not go with a law that would destroy his country. We must examine our hearts – would we do the same for “God and country”?
Another movie that considers this question is One Man’s Hero, worth watching if you can possibly find it. I am partial to St. Thomas More, but this Tom Berenger film is good too.
I will have to say more on this later. I need to think about it a bit more.