Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

June 22 | Conscience (Pt. 2)

Saint Thomas More

A.D. 1478–1535

When was the last time you paused to listen to your conscience before making a decision?

Sometimes the best way to reflect upon the story of our lives is to ponder death. Life is wonderful but short. The saints meditated on death so that they wouldn't take a moment of this precious life for granted. Life has a tendency to slip through our hands like water, unless we live each day, each hour, each moment with great consciousness. The saints nurtured this conscious awareness with daily prayer.

Saint Thomas More was executed on July 6, 1535, in London for refusing to recognize the Act of Supremacy and sign the Act of Succession. The former made King Henry VIII the head of the Church of England and the latter required all those asked to take an oath that recognized Anne Boleyn as the king's lawful wife and their children as legitimate heirs to the throne.

Thomas More was widely regarded as a man of impeccable character and meticulous honesty. People trusted his judgment, and his refusal to sign sent a message to the people of England. He didn't speak out against the acts; he simply refused to sign or say anything at all. But one honest man's silence is louder than all the words of ten thousand dishonest men.

The king accused Thomas of treason and the punishment was death. Thomas explained to his family that he could not in good conscience sign the document because he did not believe it to be true or right. He was willing to die rather than betray God, his country, his conscience, and the-very-best-version-of-himself.

When was the last time you refused to do something because your conscience made it clear that it was wrong? When was the last time you paused to listen to your conscience before making a decision? Have you ever regretted following your conscience?

When we ignore our conscience, we betray ourselves, others, and God.

There is a curious lightness of being that comes with a clear conscience. A clear conscience is profound, simple, complex, mysterious, and liberating all at the same time. It is both simple and complex because we have a responsibility to develop and form our conscience, and to align it with the truth in all things. Ultimately, it requires courage and grace.

Are you developing your conscience?


I will pause to listen to my conscience before making decisions.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Statesmen, Politicians, and Lawyers

Feast Day: June 22

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Paulinus, Saint John Fisher, Saint Flavius Clemens, and Blessed Innocent

Canonized: May 19, 1935

Canonized By: Pope Pius XI

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