Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Finally it isn’t a matter of reason..."

Fifty years ago this December A Man for All Seasons appeared in theaters. In 1967 it won six Academy Awards including Best Picture. Robert Bolt's Thomas More may have differed significantly from the actual man but his version of the man, played by Paul Scofield (who won Best Actor), was thoroughly admirable. George Weigel:
.... Bolt...gave us a different More in his drama and later in his screenplay—a More who “grasps” his death, not as an existential stalwart, a courageously autonomous “Self,” but as a Catholic willing to die for the truth, which has grasped him as the love of God in Christ. Thus, when More’s intellectually gifted daughter Margaret, having failed to argue him out of his refusal to countenance Henry VIII’s divorce and subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn, plays her final card and cries, “But in reason! Haven’t you done as much as God can reasonably want?,” More replies, haltingly, “Well…finally…it isn’t a matter of reason; finally it’s a matter of love.”

And not love of self, but love of God and love of the truth. For the God who is truth all the way through is also, St. John the Evangelist teaches us, love itself. And to be transformed by that love is to live in the truth—the truth that sets us free in the deepest and noblest meaning of human liberation. ....