Give me thy grace, good Lord: To set the world at nought

On the Z-Cam in the Sabine Chapel, I have an audio loop playing 24/7.  Right now one of the sections in the loop features a famous prayer for detachment by St. Thomas More, whose feast is celebrated today. 

With a biretta tip to The Lion and the Cardinal  o{]:¬)  here is an image of the page of St. Thomas’s own prayerbook in which he wrote by hand this famous prayer.  This is for me very stirring.

I find it wonderful that it begins on the page with the Deus in adiutorium meum intende.

More, ehem, "more" pages of the same are

Here.
Here.
Here.
Here.
Here.
Here.
Here.
Here.
Here.

The audio loop on the Z-cam is just under an hour in length.   Maybe you will hear St. Thomas’s prayer.  On the loop are some musical selections and some prayers with music background.

(Written while imprisoned in the Tower of London, 1534)

Give me thy grace, good Lord:
To set the world at nought;
To set my mind fast upon thee,
And not to hang upon the blast of men’s mouths;
To be content to be solitary,
Not to long for worldly company;
Little and little utterly to cast off the world,
And rid my mind of all the business thereof;
Not to long to hear of any worldly things,
But that the hearing of worldly phantasies may be to me displeasant;
Gladly to be thinking of God,
Piteously to call for his help;
To lean unto the comfort of God,
Busily to labor to love him;
To know mine own vility and wretchedness,
To humble and meeken myself under the mighty hand of God;
To bewail my sins passed,
For the purging of them patiently to suffer adversity;
Gladly to bear my purgatory here,
To be joyful of tribulations;
To walk the narrow way that leadeth to life,
To bear the cross with Christ;
To have the last thing in remembrance,
To have ever afore mine eye my death that is ever at hand;
To make death no stranger to me,
To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of hell;
To pray for pardon before the judge come,
To have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me;
For his benefits uncessantly to give him thanks,
To buy the time again that I before have lost;
To abstain from vain confabulations,
To eschew light foolish mirth and gladness;
Recreations not necessary — to cut off;
Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss
at right nought for the winning of Christ;
To think my most enemies my best friends,
For the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good
with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.

These minds are more to be desired of every man than all the treasure
of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it
gathered and laid together all upon one heap . 

 

[PS... Priest friends were here visiting last night and they used the Sabine Chapel this morning.  Thus today I will be having Mass sometime during (my) afternooon.] 

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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25 Responses to Give me thy grace, good Lord: To set the world at nought

  1. Tominellay says:

    …thinking he got what he prayed for…

  2. Le Renard says:

    St. Thomas More & St. John Fisher,
    May these Defenders of the Faith Pray For Us.

    Especially these days when the authority of the Successor of Peter, for which they gave their very lives, is often denied both outside the Church and within.

  3. danphunter1 says:

    Father,
    Just a side note on St Thomas More.
    Of all place’s,in Theodore Roosevelts study, in his house at Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay,NY,there hangs a portrait of the good Chancellor and saint.
    I was surprised in seeing the image of a canonized martyr of the Church in a Dutch Reformed home.
    But I have since read that T.R. had a great respect for the bravery of the Catholic Church and men within her stout and buttressed walls.
    To bad the Rough Rider did not convert.
    St Thomas More pray for us.

  4. ThomasMore1535 says:

    As anyone can tell from my screenname, St. Thomas More is a dear patron to me (especially since I’m studying for the bar at the moment). I have also read several bios of Theodore Roosevelt, and never realized that he had a portrait of the Man for All Seasons! Thanks, danhunter.

    Thanks to Fr. Z as well for posting this prayer. This prayer is even more amazing when one considers that St. Thomas was probably one of the most “human” saints the Church has ever had, in the best sense of the world. He had an amazing sense of humor, was a loving father and husband, and had an amazingly successful professional career. But he realized that without God all this was for nought.

  5. Jason in San Antonio says:

    Good luck on the bar exam–mine’s still a year away.

    I’d never come across the long version of that prayer. Boy, that’s a lot to learn–I like the shorter one on my prayer card, just for my memory’s sake.

    That line about Joseph and his brothers is excellent.

  6. Paul Murnane says:

    What timing! I turned on the Z-cam and started reading the post. Just as I started reading St. Thomas’s prayer, I heard Fr. Z reciting it. St. Thomas More is a dear patron to me as well and today is just a great opportunity to focus on his life and works.

    Thank you, Father.

  7. chris says:

    Father, i believe today is the feast day of St. Paulinus.

  8. Tom says:

    Not for posting.

    The image you use for the new care on the roads doc post is impious and despicable. Please replace it with something else.

  9. berenike says:

    Please take down the picture of that horrible mockery.

  10. Legisperitus says:

    Perhaps they’ve moved the feast of St. Thomas More in the Novus Ordo. I can’t say for sure, since I haven’t got a N.O. calendar.

  11. Parochus says:

    Before 1970, John Fisher was commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on June 22 and Thomas More on July 6, their respective “dies obitus,” but neither of them had a Mass or Office in the universal calendar. Since 1970 they share an optional memorial on June 22 in the universal calendar. Paulinus of Nola also has an optional memorial on the same day. There are now propers for both celebrations in the Missal and the Breviary.

  12. Legisperitus says:

    Interesting. I thought part of the reason for the revision of the calendar was supposed to be making the feast coincide with the dies obitus. Who is commemorated on July 6 in the 1970 calendar?

  13. RBrown says:

    Interesting. I thought part of the reason for the revision of the calendar was supposed to be making the feast coincide with the dies obitus. Who is commemorated on July 6 in the 1970 calendar?

    The date usually given for the death of St Thomas Aquinas is March 7, which is his feast in the 1962 Calendar. His feast in the new calendar is now Jan 28th.

    I think they just wanted to create a new calendar and trotted out whatever reason was convenient at the time.

  14. RBrown: In many cases the day for the feast was transferred to the anniversary day of the translation of relics of the saint to a new location. That is the case with St. Thomas. His relics were translated to Toulouse on 28 January.

  15. chris says:

    Father, i thought you followed the traditional, or at least 1962, liturgical books and calendar?

    There seems to be a great deal of rites blending, and more and more so at my indult, which is troubling. For example, there was a Nativity of John the Baptist Sunday Mass said last SATURDAY! And they used the 1967 “anticipation” rule.

    If it’s a 1962 Mass, how are they using a 1967 novus ordo rule along with it? Of course, you get no answers when you ask, but …

    I was just under the assumption here that we all followed the tradtional calendar.

  16. chris: i thought you followed the traditional, or at least 1962, liturgical books and calendar?

    When did I write that?

    Is posting a blog entry about St. Thomas More on his feast day according to the calendar of the univeral Church some sort of betrayal of traditional principles?

  17. chris says:

    Fr., i never said it was a betrayal of anything. I just don’t really consider it his feast day since, well, that would mean that St. Paulinus no longer is celebrated that day as he traditionally was.

    And, while this comment is not meant to disparage the NO mass at all, you have to admit that rite blending is dangerous and show be avoided. Our Holy Father has said as much.

    If you’re praying a traditional mass while a novus ordo feast day prayer is playing, you may be confusing laity who aren’t as up on the differences between the rites. I don’t want to sound too much like Bp. Troutman but this may be confusing.

  18. Henry Edwards says:

    Chris: I was just under the assumption here that we all followed the tradtional calendar.

    Actually, Father Z’s WDTPRS columns are about “slavishly accurate liturgical translations” of the prayers of the Novus Ordo Mass. So it might be reasonable to say that WDTPRS means What Does the NOVUS ORDO Prayer Really Say!

    At any rate, my assumption is that most of us here — those who are not so fortunate as to be members of traditional rite parishes — must follow both calendars if we worship daily. Thus we may attend both daily Novus Ordo Mass and the traditional Mass on Sundays when we can. I myself say traditional Prime early each morning using the 1955 Roman Martyrology, then later go to Novus Ordo Mass in which I assist using a missalette that includes the propers and readings according to the new rite and calendar.

    But that’s not what’s called mixture of the rites. One might think mixture of the rites occurs when I personally substitute the prayers of the TLM offertory rite for the new offertory rite using the cards I’ve inserted in my Novus Ordo missalette for this purpose. But this is my private devotion and no one else’s business.

    At any rate, I’ll bet that Father Z is guilty of no such rite mixing, and that when he celebrates either the old Mass or the new Mass, he follows the appropriate Roman Missal (be it 1962 or 2002) as assiduously as any priest you’ll ever see.

  19. chris: Relax

    I circled the relevant saint you are interested in.

    Notice that 22 June is the feast day of St. Paulinus of Nola.

  20. RBrown says:

    RBrown: In many cases the day for the feast was transferred to the anniversary day of the translation of relics of the saint to a new location. That is the case with St. Thomas. His relics were translated to Toulouse on 28 January.

    I know that the 28th was the translation of his relics, but I was replying to the comment that said the changes were to make the feast coincide with the day of death.

  21. Henry Edwards says:

    Chris: you may be confusing laity who aren’t as up on the differences between the rites.

    This reminds me of the (soon former) Birmingham bishop’s requirement that ad orientem celebration of Mass not be telecast on EWTN because it might “confuse the faithful”.

    Actually, he might be right. At least in the sense that there could well be a potentially confusing disconnect between a reverent EWTN Mass (whether ad orientem or not) and a Gather Faithfully Together celebration as described in the LA “Guide for Sunday Mass”.

  22. RBrown: I know that the 28th was the translation of his relics, but I was replying to the comment that said the changes were to make the feast coincide with the day of death.

    Of course you know that. Many, however, wouldn’t know that. Your comment (above), “I think they just wanted to create a new calendar and trotted out whatever reason was convenient at the time” gives the impression that the changes were arbitrary or that the reasons were more of the nature of excuses (“convenient”). It was, IMO, a grave mistake to move feast days around. St. Thomas’s day is one such error. The feast of St. Benedict is another. However, the basis for the changes was more substantive than your comment implies. Good enough reasons? I won’t say that. But they weren’t frivolous.

  23. Henry Edwards says:

    Father Z: Good enough reasons? I won’t say that. But they weren’t frivolous.

    Would you say those are entirely wrong who wonder whether it was felt necessary to deconstruct the old calendar to encourage the eradication of patterns of piety and devotion that were thought to be out of date?

  24. Henry: patterns of piety

    Hmmm… not perhaps in regard to the sanctoral cycle. That would have been just wicked. So many towns and families and individuals had names connected to the old calendar. Proverbs and even planting and harvest times were connected to saints’ days.

    Perhaps what you suggest is more to be found in the abolishing of Octaves.

    I think this destruction of the old calendar has more to do with pointy-headed experts thinking they could “improve” the calendar by a massive relandscaping rather than some simple pruning and triming here and there.

  25. chris says:

    Father: I think this destruction of the old calendar has more to do with pointy-headed experts thinking they could “improve” the calendar by a massive relandscaping rather than some simple pruning and triming here and there.

    i think you’re missing a third option: a purposeful attack on tradition to begin the process of a novus ordo liturgy. i’m not talking conspiracy theories, but there’s a reason Iran got a new nuncio …