Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A Father's letter

"Although I know well, Margaret,
that because of my past wickedness
I deserve to be abandoned by God,
I cannot but trust in his merciful goodness....

"By the merits of his bitter passion joined to mine
and far surpassing in merit for me
all that I can suffer myself,
his bounteous goodness
shall release me from the pains of purgatory
and shall increase my reward in heaven besides.

"I will not mistrust him, Meg,
though I shall feel myself weakening
and on the verge of being overcome with fear.

"I shall remember how Saint Peter at a blast of wind
began to sink because of his lack of faith,
and I shall do as he did:
call upon Christ and pray to him for help.
And then I trust he shall place his holy hand on me
and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning.

"And finally, Margaret, I know this well:
that without my fault he will not let me be lost.
I shall, therefore, with good hope
commit myself wholly to him.

"And if he permits me to perish for my faults,
then I shall serve as praise for his justice.
But in good faith, Meg, I trust that his tender pity
shall keep my poor soul safe
and make me commend his mercy.

"And, therefore, my own good daughter,
do not let you mind be troubled
over anything that shall happen to me in this world.

Nothing can come but what God wills.
And I am very sure that whatever that be,
however bad it may seem,
it shall indeed be the best."

Sir Thomas More wrote this letter to his daughter from prison. He would enter heaven with the swing of the executioner's axe. St. Thomas More's memory is celebrated on this day.