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Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
A Busy World Hushed
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(Visit to Archbishop‘s house Westminster, 2009)

A Busy World Hushed

One of my favorite memories of Queen Elizabeth II was when, to celebrate her platinum jubilee, she appeared in an enchanting sketch, having tea and marmalade sandwiches, with the much-loved children’s character Paddington Bear.  It shows the Queen’s charm, warmth, sense of humor and engaging personality. Every Christmas, after dinner, my mom, dad and I would sit down and listen to the annual 3pm review of her year that the Queen would give to the nations of the UK and beyond, on television and radio.

One of St. John Henry Newman‘s seasonal sermons (Remembrance of Past Mercies) seems very apt to recall.  I can imagine the Queen who, in 2010, hosted Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to beatify Newman, making these words her reflection on her own life of service.

Let us then view God‘s providence is towards us more religiously than we have hitherto done   Let us try to gain a truer view of what we are, and where we are, in His kingdom.  Let us humbly and reverently attempt to trace His guiding hand in the years which we have hitherto lived.  Let us thankfully commemorate the many mercies He has vouchsafed to us in times past, the many sins He has not remembered, the many dangers He has averted, the many prayers He has answered, the many mistakes He has corrected, the many warnings, the many lessons, the much light, the abounding comfort which He has from time to time given.  Let us dwell upon times and seasons, times of trouble, times of joy, times of trial, times of refreshment. How did He cherish us as children!  How did He guide us in that dangerous time when the mind began to think for itself, and the heart to open to the world!  How did He with his sweet discipline restrain our passions, mortify our hopes, calm our fears, enliven our heavinesses, sweeten our dissoluteness, and strengthen our infirmities!  How did He gently guide us towards the straight gate!  How did He allure us along His everlasting way, in spite of its strictness, in spite of its loneliness, in spite of the dim twilight in which it lay!  He has been all things to us.  He has been, as He was to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our God, our shield, and great reward, promising and performing, day by day.  “Hitherto hath He helped us”.  “He has been mindful of us, and He will bless us”.  He has not made us for naught; He has brought us thus far, in order to bring us further, in order to bring us unto the end.  He will never leave us nor forsake us; so that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”  We may “cast all our care upon Him, who careth for us.”  What is it to us how our future path lies if it be but His path?  What is it to us whither it leads us, so that in the end it leads to Him?  What is it to us what He puts upon us, so that He enables us to undergo it with a pure conscience, a true heart, not desiring anything of this world in comparison of Him?  What is it to us what terror befalls us, if He be but at hand attend to protect and strengthen us?  “Thou, Israel,” He says, “art my servant Jacob, whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham My friend.  Fear not thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”

And, as Newman adds, in his famous prayer:

O Lord support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, Lord, in thy mercy, grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen. (Sermons Bearing on the Subjects of the Day, 20).

May St John Henry Newman pray for Queen Elizabeth II that she may Rest In Peace.

Fr Peter Conley

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Newman lays down a firm rule in the light of life's abundant blessings: the Christian is not allowed to be gloomy.

Newman wrote, “I have been accustomed to consider the action of the creator on and in the created universe, as parallel in a certain sense to that of the soul upon the body.”

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We need to remember our mortality, so that we may be ready to meet Our Lord each and every day. Lent and lenten mortifications have a role in this preparation. We must die to self daily, so that we may be brought to the glory of His resurrection. 

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About Cardinal John Henry Newman

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A Guide to John Henry Newman will interest educated readers and professors alike, and serve as a text for college seminars for the purpose of studying Newman.

Review by Catherine Maybanks
(Catholic Herald, April 1, 2023)

Review by Serenheed James
(Antiphon, April 2023)

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Fr Peter Conley takes us on an exciting journey into the spirituality and inner life of Saint John Henry Newman.
 

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Endorsement by Neyra Blanco (Amazon)
I bought this book for my son and he loved it, he wrote this review and urged my to submitted: “I think this book has a very beautiful message, because it shows how the young Newman was so determined to achieve his dream of becoming a priest, but even after his dream he continued to work in the church with passion until the day he died, it’s so admirable that even Newman so old and so weak still had that urge to continued his work of being a priest. And the book is well written with words not too complicated with very enjoyable texts and well illustrated pictures. I highly recommend this book for a 5th grader.  

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What is a Classical Liberal Arts Education? Why is it so important for the development of a person?

Fr. Juan R. Vélez answers these and more questions you might have about University Education in the 21st century. This book is aimed for parents, prospective University students, and educators. It will help you discern why adding Liberal Arts electives to your education will help it form it better, and help the student learn to reason, and not just learn.

He also explains how many Universities have changed the true meaning of Liberal Arts, and the subjects, and gives advise on how to choose College Campus, Subjects, and Teachers.

A wonderful book that every parent should also read way before your children are College bound. A Liberal Arts education can start earlier in life, even from home.

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Endorsement by Christopher Moellering (Goodreads, September 14, 2019)
In Passion for Truth Fr. Vélez gave us an outstanding biography of Cardinal Newman. In this work, he provides a concise overview of his thought and his devotion. This is a great work for someone who, perhaps hearing of Newman for the first time because of his beatification 13 October, 2019, wants to know more about this English saint.Vélez is a wonderful writer in his own right, and the frequent quotations from Newman round out the work nicely. I especially appreciated the frequent citing of Newman’s Meditations and Devotions, which show a different side of his spirituality than his more well-known works, Development of Christian Doctrine and the Grammar of Assent.

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Take Five: Meditations with John Henry Newman, endorsement by Illow M. Roque (Amazon, September 3, 2010)
“There is a time to put direct inquiry on hold and give ourselves to prayer and practical duties.” Sound advice from one of the earlier, thought-provoking reminders in this sparkling gem of a book: Take Five | Meditations with John Henry Newman, written by Mike Aquilina and Fr. Juan R. Vélez and published by Our Sunday Visitor. This particular paragraph, referenced above, which begins with a direct quote from soon-to-be canonized priest, cardinal and poet, John Henry Newman: “Study is good, but it gets us only so far . . .” is actually the 15th in a series of 76 concise, logically organized meditations moving from the elementary to the sublime. Each meditation–one per page–is built upon the great man’s writings and remarkably rich spirituality. Whether taken whole in one reading or in part page-by-page over a course of weeks and months, these wonderfully insightful meditations will open up, even to the busiest reader in the midst of the world, a unique pathway into prayer and contemplation. My advice to spiritual inquirers at all levels, from the novice to the spiritually adept, is to follow the authors’ recommendation to use this book as a guide for daily prayer and meditation. The structure of the book itself is ideal: first, the authors introduce us to Cardinal Newman, the man, where we are given the opportunity to get to know him through a brief sketch of his life and spirituality at the beginning of the book. This is something readers will likely find themselves referring to again and again, prompting many, I suspect, to even wider explorations of this most gifted Christian leader. Then comes the meditations, consisting of a short summary of Newman’s thoughts on subjects taken, as the authors explain, from various salient points for which Newman is justly remembered: The pursuit of objective religious truth; Teaching on the Virtues; Defense of the Catholic Church; A devout spiritual and moral life; and Generosity and loyalty in his friendships, which sets the topic and tone for each meditation to follow. Each meditation consists of an excerpt taken from Newman’s thirty-plus volumes of writings and diaries. Next comes three brief and extremely useful sections entitled: “Think About It,” which establishes a prayerfully resonant tone throughout the book; “Just Imagine,” which provides a vivid, prayerful experience of the Scriptures that tie in, and finally, “Remember,” a pithy summation which the authors suggest may be used as a daily aspiration. Each meditation is given its own page, which makes it ideal for daily reflection for readers on the go. This book is a must have for every serious Catholic who wants to take their faith to the next level, which is to respond appropriately to the universal call to holiness and seek interior union with God.
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