“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Mat. 10: 39
St. Thomas More, is our parish patron saint, for whom we thank God today and whose prayers we ask as we face the challenges of faith and health in our own day as members of the Body of Christ.
Thomas More made a simple and clear choice for the culture of life based upon his unshakeable belief in the Church and her sacraments. Christ is truly present in his sacraments, calling us to penitence, to conversion and to sanctification. The reality of the sacraments was the belief upon which St. Thomas More would lay down his life.
When it came to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, St. Thomas maintained that what the Church did sacramentally was real and permanent. Just as Baptism makes us indelibly part of the Body of Christ, so Holy Matrimony unites a man and woman for life whether they be king and queen or commoners – the bond is real.
As we know, St. Thomas More famously refused to take the oath denying that King Henry was sacramentally married to Katherine of Aragon. In conscience, Thomas could not deny Christ and the sacramental reality of the Word of God, the true word which effects what it pronounces.
The sacramental bond of water and the Spirit in Baptism grafts us into the Body of Christ; the real and lasting bond of Matrimony binds man and woman in Holy Matrimony. Holy Matrimony is not, then, some legal contract sworn before a magistrate by any two people but, rather, a bond exclusively between one man and one woman for life – a bond that cannot be broken or abrogated nor established other than as ordained by the revelation of God.
Thomas would not swear against this sacramental bond and so he gave his mortal life in order to retain his immortal soul. What could be simpler? What could be more difficult?
In our day, when people insist that truth is relative – you know the meme: “You have your truth and I have mine,” St. Thomas stands as a beacon of light amidst the darkness of godless secularism.
Today we come to give thanks in the Mass for one who, in fact, did everything to uphold the sanctity of Christ present in the sacraments and supremely in the Holy Eucharist.
Today, as well, there is a real challenge to living the Christian faith. The secular juggernaut, an alliance of atheist, materialist and narcissistic social attitudes is challenging the Church and her norms not to mention the threat to the fabric of society which is based upon Judaeo-Christian norms.
The creed of relativism informs the culture of death denying the light of Christ even as mob rule threatens to take over ‘civil’ society. Social engineering by those who serve the dictatorship of relativism puts constant pressure on those who proclaim the sacramentality of the Church through which we are in communion with Christ.
Catholic faith and practice are under attack. This Marxist inspired campaign seeks to eradicate the once universal customs and morality of natural law as embedded in laws governing marriage and family. As well, the constant campaign to make the Mass little more than a communal meeting gathers power and influence while offering no sense of the transcendence of the Creator.
All these strands are parts of a devilish design to put humanity at the centre in an empty humanism which denies the transcendence of God and to deny the vital importance of the nuclear family based upon the moral order that has been at the heart of human flourishing for time immemorial.
St. Thomas More stood in his day for the faith once delivered to the saints. We pray for the grace to stand in our day for the same faith. As we are strengthened by the sacraments may we also be encouraged by the prayers of St. Thomas More, his companion St. John Fisher, our Lady, the BVM and by the whole communion of saints with whom we are sacramentally united on the journey of faith, the road paved for us by the martyrs of Christ Jesus.