If you’ve been watching the BBC TV series “Wolf Hall”, a fictional dramatisation of the events surrounding the life and political career of Thomas Cromwell, or if you’ve read some of the reviews then I’m sure you will agree that there is always something gripping and fascinating about Tudor history. The acting especially from the leads has been exceptional but none can really come close in my view to the Oscar winning performances of the 1966 film A Man for All Seasons most notably of course that of the late Paul Scofield in the part of the martyr St. Thomas More. Why is his story always so appealing and never loses its significance? Because he was willing to sacrifice his life for the one value for all reasons so to speak; the dignity and absolute integrity of one’s conscience. More tried every means possible to avoid and defer his fate for the sake of his family duties but finally it was precisely for the sake of family that he made the ultimate sacrifice.
At the start of Lent nothing should figure more than our need to enjoy the peace of a good conscience and there’s no better way to show our children the value of it than by letting them see us enter that sacred tribunal of the confessional to prepare for Easter. Everyone knows of how nothing mattered more to More than family. We may not reach the lofty heights of his renowned sanctity this side of the grave but we can take to heart this season the words of the Catholic actor, who shunning all disproportionate fame and celebrity played him best, Paul Scofield.
When asked by his biographer how he wished to be remembered, Scofield responded, “If you have a family that is how to be remembered.”
May you be abundantly blessed this Lent
– Edmund Adamus
Director, Office of Marriage and Family Life – Diocese of Westminster