A Meditation on Detachment

Mar 29, 2020

Jim Devine volunteers in our Chapel to assist with Mass and communion services. We’re so grateful for the gift of service that Jim and his wife, Joanna, provide to the Center! Jim offers this reflection for today…

I read this a few days ago and wanted to share it with you. It was written by St. Thomas More while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. It seems very appropriate for our current state of isolation

“The Sadness of Christ” by St. Thomas More:

“A Meditation on Detachment” by St. Thomas More while imprisoned in the Tower of London, 1534.

Give me Thy Grace, Good Lord,
To set all 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 by 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 fantasies may be to me unpleasant;

Gladly to be thinking of God,
Piteously to call for His help;

To lean unto to the comfort of God,
Busily to labor to love Him;
To know my own vileness 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 leads to life,
To bear the cross with Christ;

To have the last thing in remembrance,
To have ever before my enemy death that is ever at hand;

To make death no stranger to me,
To forsee 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 unceasingly to give Him thanks,
To buy the time again that I before have lost;

To abstain from vain conversations,
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 as nothing for the winning of Christ;
To think my greatest 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 attitudes are more to be desired of every man
than all the treasures of all the princes and kings,
Christian and heathen,
were it gathered and laid together all upon one heap.