Today, June 22, we celebrate the Feast Day of Thomas More. I start many days at the office with the Lawyer’s Prayer to Thomas More (see below).
This beautiful prayer written by the Center of Thomas More Studies always helps me to focus my work intentions on the right things. There is an order to this prayer that reflects the Saint it is addressed to. Sir Thomas More was an attorney who had his priorities straight.
Lawyers in society today are often regarded as bloodsuckers, sharks, and liars concerned only with making money and the billable hour.
In my personal experience most of the attorneys I interact with on a daily basis exemplify the principles that Thomas More lived in both his personal and professional life. I am not sure if this is partially due to the particular brand of law I practice, criminal defense, but on the whole my fellow counselors of law, and the judges I practice in front of, are guided by conscience and make principled legal arguments and decisions, do a fantastic job of serving the underserved, and are active in both their families and community.
The prayer below gives me a regular reminder that I am a part of a very noble profession: A profession that seeks justice, defends the rights of mankind, and pursues with vigor the search for truth.
On this June 22, I encourage all members of the bar to read and reflect on the Lawyer’s Prayer to St. Thomas More.
A Lawyer’s Prayer to St. Thomas More:
Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints:
Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients’ tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul.
Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God’s first.