So today is the memorial feast of St Thomas More: along with St John Fisher. Alongside St Paulinus of Nola. Optional all: so I suppose we get to celebrate the memory and inspiration of whichever one or ones we like. So I'm choosing St Thomas More.
Like many folks my age, I got to know St Thomas More through the magnificent movie "A Man For All Seasons" based on the equally magnificent Robert Bolt play. What a movie! Paul Scofield has forever embodied the voice, the serenity, the wit, the heroism of the great martyr! And Bolt's dialogue has captured the two-edged sword of so many of More's sayings!
More is especially significant as a saint for us lay Catholics alive and and working in the World of today, because that's exactly what he was--not a monk, not a cleric, but a hardworking talented lay man involved in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the world. That the world killed him for it is a fact that confirms the old saying: the seed of the Church is the blood of the martyrs.
It is also telling for us that More died precisely on the point of such controversy today--the primacy of the Petrine Office. He is a particularly papal martyr--a witness to the Witness, as it were--a witness to the Rock who is the Witness to Christ.
For me, there are many moving passages in Bolt's play--not least, the final dialogue between More and his beloved daughter Meg. "Finally, it's a matter of love!"
Go rent the DVD tonight. You won't be let down!