NOVENA TO THE KING'S GOOD SERVANT, BUT GOD'S FIRST
Today, I am starting a novena to St Thomas More. At King Henry VIII's command, More was beheaded. Before More died, he said he was, "the King's good servant, but God's first." Yeames' classic painting above depicts More meeting his beloved daughter, Meg, after he received his sentence of death. It was she who retrieved her father's severed head which after his decapitation was set on London Bridge as a bloody reminder to all of London of what might befall them if they did not bend to Henry.
Lord God, we thank You for giving us St. Thomas More as an example of holiness in everyday lay life. Help us to follow his holy example. May we model his virtue and piety as we live out our own vocations. St. Thomas, your love of God was so strong that you desired to live a life devoted to Him. You found a way to devote your life to Him even while you lived in the world as a lawyer. Even though you lived among worldly people, you did not become worldly. You remained holy in your everyday life and prepared yourself for your ultimate test of faith. Pray for me, that I may practice virtue in my daily life as you did, so that I may be ready when my faith is tested. Please also pray for (mention your intentions here). We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.