If there ever lived a man who loved the truth, that man was Sir Thomas More. Many will claim they love the truth, but let us measure ourselves against this great saint to discover if that love be true. St. Thomas’ life was one completely devoted to love of truth in general, but one of the primary truths for which his love shined is that of marriage.
Having worked exceedingly hard to obtain a most excellent education, St. Thomas was fittingly elected to Parliament; chosen secretary to the king; knighted; and finally became Lord Chancellor of all of England.
But even these lofty worldly honors could not dull his great love for the truth of marriage. When his king, Henry VIII, insisted upon putting away his lawful wife and illegitimately taking another, St. Thomas was one of the few souls in the entire country who had the audacity to object.
Never for an instant would St. Thomas so much as budge on this most important issue, and he willingly abandoned his lofty positions as an act of protest against Henry’s injustice. Outraged, Henry tried everything possible to obtain St. Thomas’ acquiescence to the lie.
But St. Thomas stood firm like a rock. As Henry tried faux kindness and then threats, as friends became traitors, and as his whole world came crashing down around him, St. Thomas held calmly to the truth. Nothing could faze this man of principle–not even death.
And death is exactly what Henry prescribed for St. Thomas. Undeterred, our saint accepted the sentence most peacefully. Decapitation was the method preferred, and that is precisely how St. Thomas More gave his life for the truth.
“I die the king’s faithful servant, but God’s first,” were among his final words. God is goodness and goodness is truth, and St. Thomas gave his life as a faithful servant of the truth.
Now imagine the ridicule this great saint for all times would receive if we were among us today. The thought of someone giving their life in an attempt to protect the truth of marriage is unfathomable in our current society. Henry VIII simply wanted to divorce his wife and marry another woman. What is so wrong with that? How could someone possibly forfeit a most fruitful life rather than simply ignoring the King of England’s marital status?
That is for part III, but let us just end with this. Saint Thomas More was no fool. Perhaps the greatest mind in England’s rich history willingly forfeited his bodily life because he understood the immeasurable value of truth. Can any of us say that about ourselves? Do any of us even want to say that about ourselves?
Well, we should all try. Never forget that truth, goodness, and God are all synonymous. If we aren’t fighting for these causes, we’re fighting against them. And that is a waste of a life. If we’re not on the side of truth, we’re on the side of lies. Who wants to fight for a lie? By its very nature we know that whatever great rewards the lie may promise, they will never come to fruition.
So instead let us all choose today to join St. Thomas on the side of the truth. We will not all be asked to give our lives in support of the truth, but we should all be willing to do so. We only have two options. Either throw away our lives fighting for an empty and worthless lie, or, like the great Saint Thomas More, we can choose to fight on the side of God, goodness, and our most beloved truth. By its very nature, the unfathomable rewards promised to those who choose the latter cannot but be realized. So make your decision today. The truth needs you.