.
News Alert
BREAKING: Corbett Finally Signs Budget

Archbishop Chaput: This Thanksgiving: Rekindling the Fire of Holiness

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia's weekly column appears on CatholicPhilly.com.

The Church has many good reasons why people should believe in God, believe in Jesus Christ and believe in the beauty and urgency of her own mission.  But she has only one irrefutable argument for the truth of what she teaches – the personal example of her saints.

Over this Thanksgiving weekend, or sometime during Advent, I have a homework assignment for you.  I want you to rent or buy or borrow a copy of the 1966 film about Sir Thomas More, A Man for All Seasons.  I want you to watch it with your family.  Here’s why.  More was one of the most distinguished scholars of his time, a brilliant lawyer, a gifted diplomat and a skilled political leader.  Jonathan Swift, the great Anglo-Irish writer, once described him as the “person of the greatest virtue this kingdom (of England) ever produced.” 

Above all, Thomas More was a man of profound Catholic faith and practice.  He lived what he claimed to believe.  He had his priorities in right order.  He was a husband and a father first; a man who – in the words of Robert Bolt, the author of the original play and the 1966 film – “adored, and was adored, by his own large family.”

A Man for All Seasons won Oscars for both Best Picture and Best Actor, and it’s clearly one of the great stories ever brought to the screen.  But it captures only a small fraction of the real man. In his daily life, Thomas More loved to laugh.  He enjoyed life and every one of its gifts.   Erasmus, the great Dutch humanist scholar and a friend of More and his family, described More as a man of “amiable joyousness (and) simple dress … born and framed for friendship … easy of access to all,” uninterested in ceremony and riches, humble, indifferent to food,  unimpressed by opinions of the crowd, and never departing from common sense.

Despite the integrity of More’s character, and despite his faithful service, Henry VIII martyred him in 1535.  More refused to accept the Tudor king’s illicit marriage to Anne Boleyn, and he refused to repudiate his fidelity to the Holy See.  In 1935, the Church declared Thomas More a saint.  Today – half a millennium after he died and a continent away -- this one man’s faith still moves us in our own daily lives.  That’s the power of sainthood.  That’s the power of holiness.

Here’s the lesson I want to leave you with this week.  We’re all called to martyrdom.  That’s what the word martyr means:  It’s the Greek word for “witness.”  We may or may not ever suffer personally for our love of Jesus Christ.  But we’re all called to be witnesses.  In proclaiming the Year of Faith, Benedict XVI wrote that:

“By faith, across the centuries, men and women of all ages, whose names are written in the Book of Life … have confessed the beauty of following the Lord Jesus wherever they were called to bear witness to the fact that they were Christian: in the family, in the workplace, in public life, in the exercise of the charisms and ministries to which they were called.”

The only thing that matters is to be a saint.  That’s what we need to be.  That’s what we need to become.  And if we can serve God through the witness of our lives by kindling that fire of holiness again in the heart of our local parishes and communities, then the Christ Child who comes to us at Christmas will make all things new – in our Church, in our families and in our nation.

May God grant us all a joy-filled and blessed Thanksgiving.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Hipster Kitty November 26, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Why is this still at the top of Limerick Patch? This blog post is three days old. No one cares what the Catholic church has to say. It's all lies anyways. Maybe Patch should go out and cover some real news for a change, instead of posting recycled content from sister sites and recall notices.
fsda fuda December 02, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Hello,everybody,the good shoping place,the new season approaching, click in. ===== famalegoods.com ==== Discount UGG Boots, Air jordan(1-24)shoes $33, Air max shoes (TN LTD BW 90 180) $35, Nike/shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $33, handbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35, Tshirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $20, Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $36, Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,Gucci,Armaini) $16, New era cap $12, (NFL MLB NBA NHL) jerseys $25, free shipping, Accept credit card and (PAYPAL), ====== mineokmalls.com ===== fashion ugg boots 5991 Bailey Button Kids Chocolate UGG Boots mineokmalls.com/views/?5991-Bailey-Button-Kids-Chocolate-UGG-Boots-2866.html 9-0
hongfeng January 14, 2013 at 01:39 AM
http://www.coachfactoryoutletmap.net/ Coach Factory Outlet http://www.coachoutletonlinebfd.com/ Coach Outlet Online http://www.coachoutletonlineste.com/ Coach Outlet Store Online http://www.cocoachoutletonline.org/ Coacsh Outlet Online http://www.coachoutletonlinetsy.net/ Coach Online Outlet

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »