July 14, 2024
Reflections By Rev. Fr. David Okolie

FOR SCHOLARS AND POLITICIANS: St. Thomas More’s other side

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Dearest friends, it was Thomas à Kempis who said that: “What one is at the beginning of one’s conversion is not often what one remains at the end of one’s profession.” Indeed, the above proves to be true in the lives of many influential men and women, who were very devoted to God and at peace with men at their earliest years but only to turn to ATHEISTS and the likes when gotten to the high echelon of their profession. What an unfortunate situation!

Today, it is very pertinent to take a look at the life of St. Thomas More, who, despite his esteemed learning and political positions, remained a TRUE WITNESS to Jesus Christ and his Gospel message; even to the point of choosing DEATH instead of compromising the TRUTH of his Faith.

Thomas More studied Law in the famous Oxford University and acquired the mastery of the classical languages – Greek and Latin. His learning offered him the opportunity of becoming the Lord Chancellor of England under King Henry VIII. While shouldering the responsibilities of his office, he was at the same time authoring classical works. One of his famous classical works is ‘Utopia‘. Strikingly too, irrespective of the FAME he was enjoying, he remained faithful to his devotion to God; such that even as the Lord Chancellor, he was mortifying his body, serving at Mass and singing in the choir in his parish church.

Thomas met his untimely death, when King Henry VIII demanded that he should sign the Act that was to recognize him (the King) as the Head of the Church of England. Though Thomas was enjoying lots of privileges from the King’s friendship but at this point, he chose not to COMPROMISE his faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ proposed by the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to the King, that is: “One man, one wife“. The King, seeing Thomas More’s faithfulness as a direct opposition to his ambition, gave the orders that led to the condemnation and the subsequent beheading of this TRUE WITNESS of the Gospel. You can view more about the COURAGE and CONVICTION of this great saint on YouTube. You can also read about him in the play by Robert Bolt entitled: ‘A Man for all Seasons.’

I now ask you, dearest friend: Are you still witnessing to the TRUTH of the Gospel Message in the present PRIVILEGES you are enjoying or have you thrown away the TRUTH for the sake of WORLDLY FAME? Remember that Jesus himself said thus: “Whoever ACKNOWLEDGES me before the world, I would acknowledge before my Father in Heaven; and whoever denies me before the world, I would deny before my Father in Heaven” (cf. Matt 10:32).

👉🏼 Please, do NOT aspire to POPULARITY but always aspire to SAINTHOOD. While the former fades with time, the latter lasts FOREVER.

Remain blessed!

contributor
Rev. Fr. David Okolie is a Priest of the Catholic Diocese of Okigwe, Imo State, Nigeria. He is a prolific writer, retreat preacher and social media evangelizer.

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