A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation
By St. Thomas More
Saint Thomas More’s A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation is universally acknowledged as a masterwork both of Christian wisdom and of literature. Composed in the course of Saint Thomas More’s imprisonment in the Tower of London, the Dialogue is held between an uncle, Anthony, who knows Death is soon to claim him, and his nephew, Vincent, anxious in the face of looming invasion. Vincent poses a series of questions to his uncle regarding the source of comfort in the face of suffering, temptation, and persecution.
So it is a great comfort to every person who finds himself challenged and provoked by temptation. He sees that his time of battle has arrived, and unless he behaves like a coward or a fool, he has the prospect of gaining his eternal reward. –Saint Thomas More
Armed with the insights of scripture and the wisdom of old age, Anthony counsels his nephew to put on the armor of light and enter the battle in which every Christian must fight. For: “Are we ready to suffer a measure of bodily pain for the one who suffered such great pains for us, or do we plan to run from him and utterly forsake him rather than suffer any pain at all?”
Saint Thomas More (1478–1535) was an English lawyer and philosopher. Serving as chancellor of England (second only to the king in power and authority), he refused to acknowledge King Henry VIII as head of the Church, an act for which he subsequently suffered martyrdom—dying, in his own words, “in the faith and for the faith of the Catholic Church, the king’s good servant and God’s first.”
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