The courage of St. Thomas More
John Hunt applauds Legatus members for their profound courage in defending the faith . . .
Cour-age, noun, the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
Each year Legatus honors a number of outstanding members. I had the privilege of presenting the 2012 Courage in the Marketplace award to the Weingartz family (Detroit Northeast Chapter) and to Bill and Andy Newland (Denver Chapter). Christopher and Mary Anne Yep of the Chicago Chapter had previously received the Courage in the Marketplace award at our 2013 Summit.
These Legates exhibited extraordinary courage for their bold decisions to file lawsuits against the U.S. government in defense of their religious freedom, which is under attack in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). As I became aware of the paths these individuals followed in making such a decision, I was particularly impressed that their lawsuits were filed on behalf of their companies, all family-owned businesses. In varied ways, the lives of these courageous individuals — and the businesses they founded — will likely be forever changed by their decisions.
Facing difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear — that’s courage. Legates in the 21st century are called by God to be courageous in our daily lives, sometimes in small and insignificant ways; sometimes in life-changing ways. Courage can present itself in a number of ways, but it will present itself.
Personal courage to “do the right thing in business transactions, ethically and morally” is an opportunity that is part of the activities of a functioning marketplace.
Corporate courage for business leaders means recognizing the burden we bear for our employees and associates – to provide a fair wage, benefits and working conditions that contribute to elevating their quality of life.
Spiritual courage means understanding that each of us has to grow in love for and service to Our Lord, a relationship that is a lifetime in the making but is cultivated by a day-by-day struggle punctuated whenever possible by Mass, rosary, prayer, etc.
Cultural courage means defending the truths of the Natural Law and the teachings of our faith visibly and boldly in a way that exhibits the depth of our love for the truth.
St. Thomas More is a model for all who cultivate courage as a virtue. While being trusted and respected by King Henry VIII, More would not compromise the truth and teachings of the Catholic faith. The saint would say that he was “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.” Might we say as much?
JOHN HUNT is Legatus’ executive director. He and his wife Kathie are charter members of Legatus’ Chicago Chapter.