Thomas Becket Quotes
Thou knowest how long and loyally I served the king in his worldly affairs. For that cause, it pleased him to promote me to the office which now I hold. When I consented, it was for the sake of the king alone. When I was elected, I was formally acquitted of my responsibilities for all that I had done as a chancellor.
Do you not know that the largest trees, which have required years to grow, are cut down in one hour? It is foolish to look for their fruits and yet to be unprepared for their fall. Let it be your consolation, then, that God's enemies, however honorable and exalted they may have been, shall nevertheless fade away like the smoke.
Between the uprightness of my conscience and the hardness of my lot, I know not how either to show respect to my feelings or to the times. The bitterness of my mind urges me at all hazards to speak what I think, whereas the necessity of the times prompts me, however unbecomingly, to keep silence. Good God! Which way shall I turn myself?
The Church of Christ is constituted in two orders, the clergy and the people, the one having the care of the Church that all may be ruled for the salvation of souls; the other contains kings, princes, and nobles who have to carry on secular government that all things may lead to the peace and unity of the Church.
To Him I look as my judge, to Him as the avenger of my wrongs, firm in my own good conscience and secure in the sincerity of my devotion, rooted in faith and confident that those who in the love of justice suffer injury can never be confounded, nor those who break the horns of the persecutors of the Church be deprived of their everlasting reward.
With shame be it spoken: by her fall, the Church's liberties have been sacrificed for the sake of temporal advantages. The road to her ruin lay through the sinuous paths of riches: she has been prostituted in the streets to princes; she has conceived iniquity and will bring forth oppression to the undeserving.
Could I anticipate the enmity of those for whom I encountered such opposition? If they had been willing, I should have gained the victory. But the head faints when it is abandoned by the other members. If they had been wise they would have seen that in attacking me they were attacking their own privileges and serving princes to their own servitude.