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Today, October 9, is the feast day of Blessed John Henry Newman, beatified on September 19, 2010, by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in Birmingham, England. On that day the pope, who appreciated the intellectual greatness of Newman, chose instead to speak of his charity. He was indeed a towering intellect who lived with the charity of Christ.

Newman has yet to be declared a saint, a procedure oddly called “canonization,” although we could well say that it is like a cannonade that rightly resounds throughout the world. We can be sure that he will be numbered among the saints, and some future pope will later declare him a Doctor of the Church because of the clarity of his teachings which stand out for the faithful.

Newman was a modern day Father of the Church, one of those rare men whose theological learning spanned the great spectrum of theology: Sacred Scripture, dogma, history, liturgy and morality. His learning and teachings went hand in hand with holiness of life. Today the Church declares such persons Doctors, reserving the term Fathers for those who lived roughly in the first millennium, and now including women, also outstanding in their teaching and holy lives.

Each Doctor of the Church is typically known for one contribution or another, and receives the appropriate moniker. It is possible that Newman will become known as Doctor of Conscience for his exposition of the role of conscience in the moral life and the defense of a Christian’s convictions in public life. He may also become known as Doctor of Development in Doctrine for his work in the study of how authentic doctrine develops in continuity with earlier tradition; and perhaps also as Doctor of Friendship, for, in his close to ninety years of life, he had such a rich experience of friendship with people, both men and women, in all walks of life. In a world with so many means of communication, many people are alone with few or no friends.

In the doctrinal and moral confusion of our times, and amid news of immoral behavior of clergy as well as abuse of power by bishops, we need to turn to luminous examples of holiness and clear exponents of the doctrinal and liturgical Traditions of the Church. Newman is one such example for our times who can strengthen our faith in Christ and the Church.

The Fathers and Doctors of the Church are not statutes in a museum. They are meant to be our teachers in the faith, our guides in Christian life, and our friends. John Henry Newman was full of warmth and kindness, and concern for the sick and the troubled. His feast day is an invitation to get to know him or to deepen our dealings with him.

A friend told me last night that he had just read St. Francis de Sales and thought of starting to read something about by Blessed Newman, and, lo and behold, he did not realize that today is his feast day. So you might decide to read a biography about him, and to enjoy some of his sermons and prayers … to get to know him, and to ask him for his help from heaven.

As St. Josemaría Escrivá wrote, ”these world crises are crises of saints.” John Henry Newman was such a saint for 19th century England. But his teachings and life and example invite us to follow Christ more closely today.

 

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What is the doctrine of the Trinity? The Athanasian Creed, in common use around the sixth century, formulates it this way: "We worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity, without either confusing the persons or dividing the substance; for the person of the Father is one, the Son's is another, the Holy Spirit's another; but the Godhead of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal."

The true light of Christ’s divinity was made visible to the Apostles at the Transfiguration.

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What is the doctrine of the Trinity? The Athanasian Creed, in common use around the sixth century, formulates it this way: "We worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity, without either confusing the persons or dividing the substance; for the person of the Father is one, the Son's is another, the Holy Spirit's another; but the Godhead of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal."

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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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