In a homily today, Fr. Tim Gallagher shared a great story about St Thomas More, who is quickly becoming one of my favorites among the Cloud of Witnesses.
More was summoned to appear before the Council at Lambeth on 13 April, 1534, and he knew he would have to face the King’s command to sign the Oath of Supremacy that claimed for England’s monarch the preposterous title, Head of the Church. He left his home and family at Chelsea with a heavy heart, but not before he acted as he always did at moments of great importance in his life – he went to confession early before the morning Mass, assisted at Mass and then returned home to kiss his wife before departing.
As he was being rowed along the Thames with his son-in-law Roper, he was silent and grave. But then he brightened, turned suddenly to Roper and said, with a freshly enkindled confidence, ‘Son Roper, I thank our Lord the field is won.’
Roper did not at first understand what he meant, but soon it came clear to him that More was referring to his inner conscience, his heart, which had already been won over by Christ’s truth. Regardless of what awaited him, he had already ‘set his face toward Jerusalem’ and would remain faithful to the very end.
To be so inwardly ‘won’ is to know the unyielding peace of the Rock.
Shouldn’t we all aspire to such possess such a conquered field?
I do. Fiat mihi, Domine.