Today is the feast of St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop and Martyr. His story is a powerful one, portrayed on screen by Richard Burton in the film, Becket which you can find on Hulu. He was not your typical saint. Before becoming an Archbishop, he was known to run around with a very worldly crowd. His story, and those of St. Augustine, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, St. Paul, St. Francis, St. Ignatius and others give us all hope.
Their lives are witnesses to God’s loving mercy and forgiveness through Christ, Our Lord. To Him no sin is too great to overcome. Through His grace, we can free ourselves from lives that are dark, painful, self-serving, and lost, and over time with His help, we can experience the hope, freedom, beauty, and goodness of a life lived in the service of God.
All it takes is a commitment to start. If we desire to be freed from our worries, shame, fear, and sadness from our past, we can begin as Becket did: to pray, to dedicate our lives to His service, and to try each day to follow through. It starts with prayer.
That first step in is prayer. I encourage you in this Jubilee Year of Mercy to jump in. Put aside all the burdens of a life lived in search of things we think we want but leave us empty. Sever attachments to mistakes of the past. Commit in this new year, a Jubilee Year, to give yourself permission to live a more fulfilling life.
Every time I see this scene in Becket, I get goosebumps and well up inside with this imperfect, yet beautiful, prayer (skip to the 5:57 mark). He may be praying as a leader in the church, but so many of us can identify with his desire for worthiness.
If this prayer spoke to you or this post has challenged you to follow your restless heart (see St. Augustine) to something deeper, please consider learning more about the Year of Mercy and join us for the Seekers’ Retreat on MLK weekend, January 15-17. There may be no better time than this coming year to make that change.