Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature Tudor Rose Sir Thomas More

Sir Thomas More | Biography | Quotes | Works | Essays | Portraits | Posters | Films | Bookstore | Links | Discussion Forum

Medieval

Renaissance

Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century

Encyclopedia





 
Works of Sir Thomas More


Hans Holbein. Thomas More.
The Frick Collection, New York.


A Devout Prayer, 1535.

[Composed after being condemned to death.]

Pater Noster.   Ave Maria.   Credo.

       O Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, three equal and coeternal Persons and one Almighty God, have mercy on me, vile, abject, abominable, sinful wretch, meekly knowledging before Thine High Majesty my long-continued sinful life, even from my very childhood hitherto.
       In my childhood (in this point and that point). After my childhood (in this point and that point, and so forth by every age).
       Now, good gracious Lord, as Thou givest me Thy grace to knowledge them, so give me Thy grace not only in word but in heart also, with very sorrowful contrition to repent them and utterly to forsake them. And forgive me those sins also in which, by mine own default, through evil affections and evil custom, my reason is with sensuality so blinded that I cannot discern them for sin. And illumine, good Lord, mine heart, and give me Thy grace to know them and to knowledge them, and forgive me my sins negligently forgotten, and bring them to my mind with grace to be purely confessed of them.
       Glorious God, give me from henceforth Thy grace, with little respect unto the world, so to set and fix firmly mine heart upon Thee, that I may say with Thy blessed apostle St. Paul: "Mundus mihi crucifixus est et ego mundo.1 Mihi vivere Christus est et mori lucrum.2 Cupio dissolvi et esse cum Christo.3"
       Give me Thy grace to amend my life and to have an eye to mine end without grudge of death, which to them that die in Thee, good Lord, in the gate of a wealthy life.
       Almighty God, Doce me facere voluntatem Tuam.4 Fac me currere in odore unguentorum tuorum.5 Apprehende manum meam dexteram et deduc me in via recta propter inimicos meos.6 Trahe me post te.7 In chamo et freno maxillas meas constringe, quum non approximo ad te.8
       O glorious God, all sinful fear, all sinful sorrow and pensiveness, all sinful hope, all sinful mirth and gladness take from me. And on the other side, concerning such fear, such sorrow, such heaviness, such comfort, consolation, and gladness as shall be profitable for my soul: Fac mecum secundum magnam bonitatem tuam Domine.9
       Good Lord, give me the grace, in all my fear and agony, to have recourse to that great fear and wonderful agony that Thou, my sweet Saviour, hadst at the Mount of Olivet before Thy most bitter passion, and in the meditation thereof to conceive ghostly comfort and consolation profitable for my soul.
       Almighty God, take from me all vain-glorious minds, all appetites of mine own praise, all envy, covetise, gluttony, sloth, and lechery, all wrathful affections, all appetite of revenging, all desire or delight of other folk's harm, all pleasure in provoking any person to wrath and anger, all delight of exprobation or insultation against any person in their affliction and calamity.
       And give me, good Lord, an humble, lowly, quiet, peaceable, patient, charitable, kind, tender, and pitiful mind with all my works, and all my words, and all my thoughts, to have a taste of Thy holy, blessed Spirit.
       Give me, good Lord, a full faith, a firm hope, and a fervent charity, a love to the good Lord incomparable above the love to myself; and that I love nothing to Thy displeasure, but everything in an order to Thee.
       Give me, good Lord, a longing to be with Thee, not for the avoiding of the calamities of this wretched world, nor so much for the avoiding of the pains of purgatory, nor of the pains of hell neither, nor so much for the attaining of the joys of heaven in respect of mine own commodity, as even, for a very love to Thee.
       And bear me, good Lord, Thy love and favour, which thing my love to Thee-ward, were it never so great, could not, but of Thy great goodness deserve.
       And pardon me, good Lord, that I am so bold to ask so high petitions, being so vile a sinful wretch, and so unworthy to attain the lowest. But yet, good Lord, such they be as I am bounden to wish, and should be nearer the effectual desire of them if my manifold sins were not the let. From which, O glorious Trinity, vouchsafe, of Thy goodness to wash me with that blessed blood that issued out of Thy tender body, O sweet Saviour Christ, in the divers torments of Thy most bitter passion.
       Take from me, good Lord, this lukewarm fashion, or rather key-cold manner of meditation, and this dulness in praying unto Thee. And give me warmth, delight, and quickness in thinking upon Thee. And give me Thy grace to long for Thine holy sacraments, and specially to rejoice in the presence of Thy very blessed body, sweet Saviour Christ, in the holy sacrament of the altar, and duly to thank Thee for Thy gracious visitation therewith, and at that high memorial with tender compassion to remember and consider Thy most bitter passion.
       Make us all, good Lord, virtually participant of that holy sacrament this day, and every day. Make us all lively members, sweet Saviour Christ, of Thine holy mystical body, Thy Catholic Church.
       Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire. Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.10
       Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.11
       In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in æternum.12
       R. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei genitrix.13
       V. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.14

Pro amicis.15

       Almighty God, have mercy on N. and N. (with special meditation and consideration of every friend, as godly affections and occasion requireth).

Pro inimicis.16

       Almighty God, have mercy on N. and N., and on all that bear me evil will, and would me harm, and their faults and mine together by such easy, tender, merciful means as Thine infinite wisdom best can devise, vouchsafe to amend and redress and make us saved souls in heaven together, where we may ever live and love together with Thee and Thy blessed saints, O glorious Trinity, for the bitter passion of our sweet Saviour Christ.   Amen.
       God, give me patience in tribulation and grace in everything, to conform my will to Thine, that I may truly say: "Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in coelo et in terra".17
       The things, good Lord, that I pray for, give me Thy grace to labour for.   Amen.



[AJ Notes (trans. by A. Jokinen; direct Bible quotes from the KJV):

  1. "The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Gal. 6:14).
  2. "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil 1:21).
  3. "Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ" (Phil 1:23)
  4. "Teach me to do thy will" (Ps. 143:10)
  5. "Make me run in the scent of your ointments" (cf. Song of Solomon 1:3).
  6. "Take me by my right hand and direct me on the path of righteousness, on account of my enemies" (cf. Ps. 73:23).
  7. "Draw me after thee." (cf. Song of Solomon 1:4).
  8. "With bit and bridle constrain my jaws, when I come not near thee." (cf. Ps. 32:9)
  9. "Do unto me according to thy great goodness, Lord" (cf. Ps. 118:29; Psalm 145:7-8).
  10. "Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin. O Lord, have mercy upon us , have mercy upon us." From the Te Deum. Translation from the Book of Common Prayer.
  11. "O Lord, let thy mercy be upon us, as our trust is in thee." From the Te Deum. Translation from the Book of Common Prayer.
  12. "O Lord, in thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded." From the Te Deum. Translation from the Book of Common Prayer.
  13. "Pray for us, holy mother of God."
  14. "That we may become worthy of the promises of Christ."
  15. "For friends."
  16. "For enemies."
  17. "Thy will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven." From the Lord's Prayer. ]



Source:

Bridgett, Thomas Edward. The Wisdom and Wit of Blessed Thomas More.
       London: Burns and Oates, Ltd., 1892.  94-97.





Back to the Works of Sir Thomas More

Site copyright ©1996-2009 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on May 30, 2009.




 



The Tudors

King Henry VII
Elizabeth of York

King Henry VIII
Queen Catherine of Aragon
Queen Anne Boleyn
Queen Jane Seymour
Queen Anne of Cleves
Queen Catherine Howard
Queen Katherine Parr

King Edward VI
Queen Mary I
Queen Elizabeth I
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond

Renaissance English Writers
Bishop John Fisher
William Tyndale
Sir Thomas More
John Heywood
Thomas Sackville
Nicholas Udall
John Skelton
Sir Thomas Wyatt
Henry Howard
Hugh Latimer
Thomas Cranmer
Roger Ascham
Sir Thomas Hoby
John Foxe
George Gascoigne
John Lyly
Thomas Nashe
Sir Philip Sidney
Edmund Spenser
Richard Hooker
Robert Southwell
Robert Greene
George Peele
Thomas Kyd
Edward de Vere
Christopher Marlowe
Anthony Munday
Sir Walter Ralegh
Thomas Hariot
Thomas Campion
Mary Sidney Herbert
Sir John Davies
Samuel Daniel
Michael Drayton
Fulke Greville
Emilia Lanyer
William Shakespeare


Persons of Interest
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cromwell
John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester
Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
William Tyndale
Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
Hugh Latimer
Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent
For more, visit Encyclopedia


Historical Events
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
The Babington Plot, 1586
The Spanish Armada, 1588


Government
Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
The Third Act of Succession, 1544
The Ten Articles, 1536
The Six Articles, 1539
The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555


Images of London:
London in the time of Henry VII. MS. Roy. 16 F. ii.
London, 1510, earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR



For more, visit Encyclopedia





Luminarium | Encyclopedia | What's New | Letter from the Editor | Bookstore | Poster Store | Discussion Forums | Search