I also love for him for his example of forgiveness…actually, more than forgiveness…his disdain of judging others. Incredible, really, given his profession — one of many, actually — as a lawyer. (Also a politician!)
Although a friend of King Henry VIII of England, More couldn't bring himself to humor the sovereign by (even with a wink, wink, nod, nod) acknowledging him as the "supreme head of the church of England." He couldn't, because he was in love with truth — as any good attorney should be — and with the Truth — as any good man should be.
And so he died. Killed for treason. Imagine his sadness! We are now in an era where Christians are martyred by those outside the Church…imagine being martyred, or even hated by, those supposedly inside the Church!
Still, he kept his spirits up. At his trial, he told his judges that he wished that "we may yet hereafter in Heaven merrily all meet together to everlasting salvation."
And he didn't judge!
Since today's memorial of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More is optional, the readings of the day are generally chosen. And how appropriate today's Gospel is for Saint Thomas:
From Matthew 7: 1-5
Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.
From his prison cell, awaiting his eternal reward, More penned this prayer. May his words fill our hearts with the stupendous gift of love for those who mistreat us in any way.
A Prayer for Our Enemies
Almighty God, have mercy on N. and N., and on all that bear me evil will, and would me harm, and their faults and mine together by such easy, tender, merciful means as thine infinite wisdom best can devise; vouchsafe to amend and redress and make us saved souls in Heaven together, where we may ever live and love together with thee and thy blessed saints, O glorious Trinity, for the bitter passion of our sweet Saviour Christ. Amen.
Lord, give me patience in tribulation and grace in everything, to conform my will to thine, that I may truly say: “Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo et in terra”.
The things, good Lord, that I pray for, give me thy grace to labour for. Amen.