February 7 ~  Ordinary Arts Four Last Things: The Supplication of Souls

"The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. " ~ Thomas More

Thomas More

Brilliant statesman, scholar, and Chancellor of England, St. Thomas More (1478-1535) was born on this day in London, England, the son of a respected judge.

An astute attorney an advocate for free speech, he entered the English parliament in 1504 and was known for his integrity. He once said: "An absolutely new idea is one of the rarest things known to man."

Coining the word Utopia in his famous 1516 book, More visualized an ideal society without poverty or crime, a place that celebrated equality and religious tolerance. He wrote, "You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds….What you cannot turn to good, you must at least make as little bad as you can."

Named Chancellor by Henry VIII in 1529, More refused to endorse the king's divorce and accept him as the supreme head of the Church of England, was found guilty of treason and executed.

Saying he was "the King's good servant, but God's first," More became a symbol of moral strength for his commitment to his faith and was canonized in 1935 by Pope Pius XI.

"Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish; Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal," said More. His life was chronicled in the film A Man For All Seasons (1966).

There is wonder in the ordinary.