Reflection by St. Thomas More

Thomas MoreThe “Man for All Seasons” has a wise and useful reflection to share with us [perfectionists]:

If you cannot pluck up bad ideas by the root, if you cannot cure long-standing evils as completely as you would like, you must not therefore abandon the commonwealth.

Do not give up the ship in a storm because you cannot direct the winds. And do not arrogantly force strange ideas on people who you know have their minds set on a different course from yours.

You must strive to influence policy indirectly, handle the situation tactfully, and thus what you cannot turn to good, you may at least make less bad. For it is impossible to make all institutions good unless you make all people good, and that I don’t expect to see for a long time to come.

[Source: Finding God in All Things: a Marquette Prayer Book; Doug Leonhardt, S.J., Editor]


  1. Eric says

    Doctrine and serious ethical issues vs. tolerance, charity, open-mindedness, and prudence. These are at the core of a life of faith.

  2. Maura says

    So very true of both political and pastoral life.
    How many young people have been turned away from marriage in the church because they had not been following the church’s teaching on premarital sex? Rather than taking the time to gently share with them the beauty of the church’s teaching, too many pastoral leaders say you aren’t living it so go somewhere else or as bad harrang them for what they are doing when honesty many didn’t even know it was wrong because their parents and friends even some church people have never shared the truth and its logic.
    I love that line “Do not give up the ship in a storm because you cannot direct the winds” We can’t direct the winds but we can certainly make the best of them and people’s desire for healthy relationships and do our best to help them weather the storm and search for a better course.

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