St. Thomas More and the tribulations of our time – Catholic World Report

State-imposed lockdowns, suspended sacraments, locked churches, city riots, vandalized statues, “cancelling,” educational upheavals—these tribulations rippling from COVID-19 have rocked Catholics and the practice of our faith. As the pandemic gripped the country and the months marched on, religious freedom came under attack from two directions: from state governments that curtailed the free exercise of religion and from the ascendant cultural left repressing the right to free speech, particularly on matters of sexual morality. It can seem that dark forces are gathering, soon to fall fatally upon our Church and upon ourselves. Under this shadow we begin Religious Freedom Week tomorrow, June 22, on the feasts of two martyrs who refused to allow the evils sweeping through England to subsume their faith: St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher. To find comfort, strength, and hope in this precarious time, we would do well to turn to St. Thomas More’s A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation. Composed in the Tower of London as he awaited his execution, More’s fictional dialogue pairs a young man Vincent, who is panicking over the “the Great Turk” and his imminent invasion of the land, and Anthony, his dying uncle. The Turk, of course, is King Henry VIII, who imprisoned More for refusing to acknowledge his majesty as the head of the Church of England. The spiritual plight of the English people that Henry caused was remarkably similar to what the ever-expanding secular riptide caused this year. “What we fear the most,” laments Vincent, “is already happening: many of our own people are falling prey to him, or have made an alliance with him, joining him ahead of time as a way of keeping him from ravaging the land.”

St. Thomas More and the tribulations of our time – Catholic World Report

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