A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation
Awaiting execution in 1535 for refusing to betray his faith, Thomas More opens the door on his own interior life by creating a fictional dialogue. It takes place in 16th century Hungary between a young man, Vincent, and his dying but wise old uncle, Anthony. Vincent is paralyzed by fear of an impending, Turkish invasion which could force him to betray his faith or die a martyr. As he pours out his fears, Anthony responds as only the calm and clear-headed More could do: on the comfort of God in difficulties, the benefits of suffering, atonement for evil acts, faintheartedness and the temptation to suicide, and scrupulosity. Anthony thus summarizes his purpose: ''I will supply you ahead of time with a store of comfort, of spiritual strengthening and consolation, that you can have ready at hand, that you can resort to and lay up in your heart as an antidote against the poison of despairing dread...".