- Series: Yale University Press Translation
- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: Scepter Pubs (June 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0933932669
- ISBN-13: 978-0933932661
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #834,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sadness of Christ (Yale University Press Translation)
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The book's editors used sources from More's family members and few friends to explain how More "bootlegged" this work out of the Tower of London. While More lost friends, he did not lose all of his friends. His associates insured that More's work titled THE SADNESS OF CHRIST would get noticed and read. The work was an honest affront against Henry VIII and Henry's cronies.
More started his work THE SADNESS OF CHRIST with a vivid description of a holy life versus pomposity and concern for reputation. Those who are "apprehensively conventional" betray their close friends and ultimately Christ in attempting to gain popularity with "the rich and powerful.
More cited anecdotes from the Gospels re Christ's association with " tax collectors, wine bibbers, and sinners." More made the assertion that these "sinners" were much better men and women than the pompous religious authorities who were more concerned with pettiness and show rather than compassion and mercy. As more wrote, men and women must make a choice between succumbing to fear or maintaining self respect and loyalty to one's convictions regardless of "popular opinion."
More also reflected on prayer life. More contrasted phony public show of rightousness with honest prayer. More informed readers that prayer should be honest petition and gratitude rather than demands for material goods and hate toward enemies. More wrote that prayer should be a source of strength especially for those who live in fear. The fact that St. Peter and other Apostles were fearful and timid when Christ was arrested, but they renewed their nerve to become saints and heroes. As More commented these Apostles had no fear in confronting enemies. The obvious exception was Judas Iscariot who lost his self respect and sense of loyalty just for 30 pieces of silver. Perhaps Judas was jealous because Christ showed kindness and then intelligence when confronting the "official" religious authorities.
More also defined true strength. Christ chastised St. Peter for the use of violence when Christ was arrested. More remarked that Christ said He could summon twelve legions of angels,but lack of fear and acceptance of His Passion showed Christ as having true strength and courage.
More concluded this work with remarks about wealth, nice attire, and apathy. More viewed such concerns as a drag on true character and a holy life. In other words, secular concerns can lead to evil and lack of character and decnecy.
More's work was unfinished because Thomas Cromwell (1485-1540)removed More's books, paper and ink. Yet, the fact that this work was not complete does not detract from the book's importance. More's work is reminded of who we should be rather than who we are.
James E. Egolf
August 3, 2014
"The Sadness of Christ" by Thomas More is most excellent Lenten reading. He is reported to have been a deeply prayerful husband, father, lawyer, who rose to Speaker of the House of Commons, was knighted, and became the first layperson to be Lord Chancellor of England.
When a royal proclamation ordered the clergy to acknowledge Henry VIII as "Supreme Head" of the Church, More offered his resignation which was not accepted. Although he avowed his loyalty to the king, he refused to take the Oath of Succession, which had a clause repudiating "any foreign authority, prince or potentate"; i.e. the pope. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London, continuing his writing with bits of charcoal, until martyred by beheading at Tower Hill July 6, 1535. Sir Thomas More was canonized (recognized as a saint) in 1935 by Pope Pius XI.
What impressed me was his short but poignant writing on forgiveness, which gave a peek into his own Christ-like forgiving of Henry VIII, whom he had loyally served, but whose ego settled for nothing less than More's head. It can be read and re-read as a challenge to personal spirituality regardless of faith, calling for the ultimate loyalty:
"Bear no malice or evil will to any man living. For either the man is good or wicked. If he is good and I hate him, then I am wicked. If he is wicked, either he will amend and die good and go to God, or live wickedly and die wickedly and go to the devil. And then let me remember that if he be saved, he will not fail (if I am saved too, as I trust to be) to love me very heartily, and I shall then in like manner love him. And why should I now, then, hate one for this while who shall hereafter love me forever more, and why should I be now, then, an enemy to him with whom I shall in time be coupled in eternal friendship? And, on the other side, if he will continue to be wicked and be damned, then is there such outrageous eternal sorrow before him that I may well think myself a deadly cruel wretch if I would not now rather pity his pain than malign his person..."
being kept in the tower awaiting King Henry's pleasure and eventual execution.
It has historical signifigance as well as religious. It takes some time to get the rhythm of the
language being used. English wasn't an advanced language at that time, French and Latin
where still the preferred languages for diplomats and writers. So the word groupings are
a little unsettling. Insomuch, would be an example, but it is worth the reading to get a
perspective of the man, the times, and its religious significance.
We often read now for entertainment,instead of reading to expand our minds and expansion is an exercise, and exercise can be difficult but worth the effort.
Most recent customer reviews
Content as described
Very thought-provoking, written in easily understandable language