Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 29 December – St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr

Thought for the Day – 29 December – St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

No one becomes a saint without struggle, especially with himself. Thomas knew he must stand firm in defense of truth and right, even at the cost of his life. We also must take a stand in the face of pressures—against dishonesty, deceit, destruction of life—at the cost of popularity, convenience, promotion and even greater goods.

St Thomas a Becket, Pray for Us!

st-thomas-a-becket-pray-for-us-no-2-29-dec-2017

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Posted in MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on VIOLENCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 29 December – St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 29 December – St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the course,
I have kept the faith.
From now on a merited crown awaits me

2 Timothy 4:72-timothy-4-7-29-dec-2017-thomas-a-becket

“Remember then how our fathers worked out their salvation;
remember the sufferings through which the Church has grown
and the storms the ship of Peter has weathered
because it has Christ on board.
Remember how the crown was attained,
by those whose sufferings gave new radiance to their faith.
The whole company of saints bears witness to the unfailing truth,
that without real effort no-one wins the crown.”remember-then-how-our-fathers-st-thomas-a-becket-29-dec-2017

“I am ready to die for my Lord,
that in my blood,
the Church may obtain liberty and peace.”i am ready to die for my lord - st thomas a becket 29 dec 2018

“Better are the blows of a friend,
than the false kisses of an enemy.”better are the blows of a friend - st thomas a becket 29 dec 2018

“Who shall resist Anti-Christ when he comes
if we show such patience
towards the vices and crimes of his precursors?
By such leniency, we encourage kings
to become tyrants
and tempt them to withdraw every privilege
and all jurisdiction from the Churches.”who shall resist anti-christ - st thomas a becket 29 dec 2018

It is dangerous for men in power,
if no-one dares to tell them, when they go wrong.” 
 (St Thomas to a friend on his ordination)

St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyrit-is-dangerous-st-thomas-a-becket-29-dec-2017

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARTYRS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 29 December – St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

Our Morning Offering – 29 December – St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

Please Lord, Make me Worthy
Prayer of St Thomas a Becket

My Lord,
I find it difficult to talk to You.
What can I say?
I, who have turned away from You
so often with indifference.
I have been a stranger to prayer,
undeserving of Your friendship and love.
I’ve been without honour
and feel unworthy.
I am a weak and shallow creature,
clever only in the second-rate
and worldly arts,
seeking my comfort and pleasure.
I gave my love,
such as it was, elsewhere,
putting service to my earthly king,
before my duty to You.
Please Lord,
teach me how to serve You
with all my heart,
to know at last,
what it really is,
to love,
to adore.
So that I may worthily administer
Your kingdom here on earth
and find my true honour,
in observing Your divine will.
Please Lord, make me worthy.please lord make me worthy - st thomas a becket 29 dec 2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube Videos

Saint of the Day – 29 December – St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

Saint of the Day – 29 December – St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterburyst thomas a becket martyrdom

A strong man who wavered for a moment but then learned one cannot come to terms with evil and so became a strong churchman, a martyr and a saint—that was Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, murdered in his cathedral on 29 December 1170.st-thomas-becket-9204211-2-402

His career had been a stormy one.   While archdeacon of Canterbury, he was made chancellor of England at the age of 36 by his friend King Henry II.   When Henry felt it advantageous to make his chancellor the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas gave him fair warning – he might not accept all of Henry’s intrusions into Church affairs. Nevertheless, in 1162 he was made archbishop, resigned his chancellorship and reformed his whole way of life!

Troubles began.   Henry insisted upon usurping Church rights.   At one time, supposing some conciliatory action possible, Thomas came close to compromise.   He momentarily approved the Constitutions of Clarendon, which would have denied the clergy the right of trial by a Church court and prevented them from making direct appeal to Rome.   But Thomas rejected the Constitutions, fled to France for safety and remained in exile for seven years.   When he returned to England he suspected it would mean certain death.

Because Thomas refused to remit censures he had placed upon bishops favoured by the king, Henry cried out in a rage, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest!”   Four knights, taking his words as his wish, slew Thomas in the Canterbury cathedral.the-murder-of-st-thomas-a-becket-after-the-painting-by-a-dawant

Henry did penance at the grave of Thomas, seeking forgiveness for the actions of his knights and the tomb soon became a place of pilgrimage for the faithful.

Thomas Becket remains a hero-saint down to our own times.XJF359008

Richard Burton played St Thomas in the film “Becket” with Peter O”Toole as King Henry II – here is a snip from “the Best Scenes”

ThomasBecket (1)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 1 November – The Solemnity of All the Saints

Quote/s of the Day – 1 November – The Solemnity of All the Saints

“All saints give testimony to the truth,
that without real effort,
no one ever wins the crown.”

St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170)all saints give testimony to the truth - st thomas a becket - 1 nov 2018

“A ray of light enables us to see the dust that is in the air.
In the same way, the lives of the Saints show up our defects.
If we fail to see our faults,
it is because we have not looked at the lives of
holy men and women.”

St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Churcha ray of light - st anthony of padua - 1 nov 2018

“God creates out of nothing.
Wonderful you say.
Yes, to be sure but He does.
what is still more wonderful,
He makes saints out of sinners.”

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)god-creates-out-of-nothing-soren-kierkegaard-1-nov-2017

“In heaven, we shall not meet with indifferent glances,
because all the elect will discover
that they owe to each other,
the graces that merited the crown for them.”

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897) Doctor of the Churchin heave, we shall not meet - st therese of lisieux - child jesus - 1 nov 2018

“Life holds only one tragedy, ultimately,
not to have been a saint.”

Charles Péguy (1873-1914)life holds only one tragedy ultimately - charles peguy - 1nov 2018

“A saint takes his hands off
the steering wheel of his life
and lets God steer.”a saint steering wheel of life - peter kreeft 1 nov 2018

“A saint is one who sees who the tramp is: Jesus”

Peter Kreefta-saint-is-one-who-sees-who-the-tramp-is-jesus-1-nove-2017

Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – – 20 January – The Memorial of St Sebastian, Martyr (Died C 288)

Quote/s of the Day – – 20 January – The Memorial of St Sebastian, Martyr (Died C 288)

“Last Words”

“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.”

St Sebastian, Martyr (Died C 288)
(Last words addressed to his executioners)lord jesus, receive my spirit - st sebastian - 20 jan 2018

“If all the swords in England were pointed
against my head, your threats would not move me.
I am ready to die for my Lord,
that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace.”

St Thomas à Becket, Martyr (1118-1170)
(Last words addressed to his murderers)if all the swords - st thomas a becket - 20 jan 2018

“Long live Christ the King!”
“Viva Cristo Rey!”

Blessed Miguel Pro, Martyr (1891-1927)
(Last words addressed to his executioners)viva cristo rey - bl miguel pro - 20 jan 2018

“This is my last hour of life, listen to me attentively:
if I have held communication with foreigners,
it has been for my religion and for my God.
It is for Him that I die.
My immortal life is on the point of beginning.
Become Christians if you wish to be happy after death
because God has eternal chastisements in store
for those who have refused to know Him.”

St Andrew Kim Taegon, Martyr (1821-1846)
(Last words addressed to his murderers)this is my last hour of life - st andrew kim taegon - 20 sept 2017

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 29 December – Fifth Day of the Octave and the Memorial of St Thomas a Becket

Thought for the Day – 29 December – Fifth Day of the Octave and the Memorial of St Thomas a Becket

I think we know that the twentieth century is probably the century of the greatest flowering of Christian martyrs:  across Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Vietnam, in communist regimes in Latin America and other places too.   Now the twenty-first century is following a similar pattern in other parts of the world:  the Middle East, parts of Africa, Pakistan.   This moment of prominence for St Thomas a Becket helps us to remember and focus on this fruitfulness of courage and faith which is always the seed of the Church.

For some, Thomas died a traitor, betraying the loyalty they believe he owed to the King. For others he died a martyr, put to death for his defence of the things of the Lord, in this case the honour and rights of the Church.

We know that this relationship between the role and powers of the state on the one hand and the role and commitment of the Church on the other, is never an easy one.   It is always a point of tension, a daily struggle in conscience and in public debate.   But Thomas’ martyrdom reminds us what can happen when the state seeks to dominate religious belief and reshape it to its own ends, to its own selection of values.   When observance of those particular values becomes absolute requirement then we are on a path of confrontation.   The example of Thomas a Becket stands before us as a reminder to every age that the point may come where there is no longer any space left for that religious freedom, such a basic human right, which permits the holding and expressing of religious belief in word and action in the public forum.

The tensions that can lead to that point were well delineated in the speech given by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 when he spoke in Westminster Hall. He said:

‘Each generation, as it seeks to advance the common good, must ask anew:  what are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend?   By appeal to what authorities can moral dilemmas be resolved.   These questions take us directly to the ethical foundations of civil discourse.   If the moral principles underpinning the democratic process are themselves determined by nothing more solid than social consensus, then the fragility of the process becomes all too evident – herein lies the real challenge for democracy.’    Pope Benedict called modern democracies, including our own, to engage in constructive dialogue which brings together faith and reason, affirming that ‘religion is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to national conversation.’

I have only to think of another Thomas, four hundred years after Becket, whose dilemma and heroism echoes that of the earlier Thomas.  Thomas More was also asked to show where his fundamental loyalty lay and he too, lacking support from his fellow clergy, stood alone, an uncompromising figure, yet never seeking conflict or confrontation. What was well summed up of him, in words beautifully attributed to him, can also be applied to Thomas a Becket. ‘I am indeed the King’s good servant, but God’s first.’

Excerpt from the Archbishop of Westminister at the Symposium on St Thomas a Becket at Lambeth Palace on 27 May 2016.

St Thomas a Becket, God’s good servant, pray for us!st thomas a becket pray for us no 2 - 29 dec 2017