The story of St. Thomas a Becket is well-known.
How he was murdered while saying Vespers in Cantebury Catherdral on December 29th, 1170, by the followers of Henry II, a result of having exerted what the king felt to be too much power. (Power, one should note, he had all rights to bear.)
I bring up this significant murder because the Saint exemplified a willingness to sacrifice himself for the sake of the Church, a notion of sacrifice which seems to be absent in the developed countries of the West today.
I have not been posting much over the past couple of weeks. It is high summer here in Canada. There are much better things to do than sit here and blog. Since my posts surrounding Michael Voris, I have also been given to think that much of what I think and reason does not need to be said aloud. Especially some of my more dangerous opinions about the papacy and other such things.
Fellow Catholics, we are in scary times. It is in times like these - as St. Thomas a Kemphis alludes to in The Imitation of Christ - that, to relieve our wearied hearts and minds, we turn to our fellow man and express them, our worries and cares.
But - I ask - how often do we come back feeling any better?
I am not discounting the cathartic release that comes with voicing this or that frustration. I have done so on this blog, with a priest, and with a host of other people. Venting and talking out one's experiences with others is important from time to time. It is how we learn.
But, so often, we run the risk of turning things into mindless chatter. We ought to speak our mind, but we do not need to say everything that is on our mind. Sometimes it is better to keep silent for its own sake, and this is in itself a form of dying to one's self, for we learn to curb our own appetites for gossip and love of one's own opinion.
However, it does not mean we should keep silent every waking moment of the day. There are times - often mandated by charity - that we must speak.
It takes a lifetime to master this balance. A lifetime. St. Thomas a Becket spoke those ringing words in the image above when it was appropriate for the edification of all. If he had spoken them at some other time, they would not be as effective.
While we ponder his words, let us resolve to lay down our swords, tongues, and accept whatever the Lord has deigned to give us, speaking only when we must.
Indeed, let us repeat those same words our saintly predecessor said.
It is long past time for us to be counter-cultural, and give the world the water it is gasping for, even though they don't know it.
Part of that is learning when to hold our tongue.