That I May Desire Only…

thomas moreLater in the 2nd 6 weeks, my history class will read selections from Utopia by Thomas More (the book Drew Barrymore’s character quotes in “Ever After”).

Thomas More was a Christian, and when King Henry VIII split from the Catholic Church and declared himself the head of the Church of England so that he could divorce his wife, More refused to swear allegiance to the king. Thus, he was condemned as a heretic and martyred in 1535.

Shortly before his death and after his final confession, he wrote this prayer in prison:

Good and gracious Lord, as You give me grace to acknowledge my sins, so give me grace in both word and heart to repent them and utterly forsake them. And forgive me those sins which my pride blinds me from discerning.

Glorious God, give me Your grace to turn my back on the things of this world, and to fix my heart solely on You.

Give me Your grace to amend my life, so that I can approach death without resentment, knowing that in You is the gateway to eternal riches.

Glorious God, take from me all sinful fear, all sinful sorrow and self-pity, all sinful hope and all sinful desire. Instead give me such fear, such sorrow, such pity, such hope and such desire as may be profitable for my soul.

Good Lord, give me this grace, in all my fear and agony, to find strength in that great fear and agony which You, sweet Savior, had on the Mount of Olives before Your bitter passion.

Almighty God, take from me all desire for worldly praise, and all emotions of anger and revenge. Give me a humble, lowly, quiet, peaceable, patient, generous, kind, tender, and compassionate mind.

Grant me, good Lord, a full faith, a firm hope and a fervent love, that I may desire only that which gives You pleasure and conforms to Your will.

And, above all, look upon me with Your love and Your favor.

That last part, especially, Grant me, good Lord, a full faith, a firm hope and a fervent love, that I may desire only that which gives You pleasure and conforms to Your will, Jesus, I pray as though I had written the prayer myself.

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