Tintoretto-jacopo-Comin-The-Resurrection-of-Christ-3-

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!  Today, we rejoice with the whole Church in Christ’s victory over sin and death.  With His victory, we who are weighed down by sin, weakness, and weariness of life are free.  The Church urges us, for the very reason of our weakness, especially our tendency to turn inward, to turn the eyes of our hearts to our Savior.  In “Christ, A Quickening Spirit,” Blessed John Henry Newman explains how Christ’s resurrection gives life to our souls.

The life Christ gives is a participation in His own, but how readily we lock ourselves inside, and close ourselves off to Him.  Pastor and author Timothy Keller describes the nature and effects of self-centeredness: “There’s nothing that makes you more miserable (or less interesting) than self-absorption: How am I feeling, how am I doing, how are people treating me, am I proving myself, am I succeeding, am I failing, am I being treated justly? Self-absorption leaves us static; there’s nothing more disintegrating. Why do we have wars? Class struggle? Family breakdown? Why are our relationships constantly exploding? It’s the darkness of self-centeredness.”

Christ wants to free us from this darkness, it’s roots reaching back into death itself, and our deep fear of loneliness.  Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, before he became Pope Benedict, wrote about our fear of death, “In truth–one thing is certain: there exists a night into whose solitude no voice reaches; there is a door through which we can only walk alone–the door of death. In the last analysis all the fear in the world is fear of this loneliness . . . where man falls into extreme loneliness he is not afraid of anything definite that could be explained away; on the contrary, he experiences the fear of loneliness, the uneasiness and vulnerability of his own nature, something that cannot be overcome by rational means . . . The fear peculiar to man [fear of loneliness] cannot be overcome by reason but only by the presence of someone who loves him.”

In His Resurrection, Christ defeated death, and in so doing left no barrier between us and Himself.  Blessed Newman comments, “though He was liable to death, ‘it was impossible He should be holden’ of it. Death might overpower, but it could not keep possession; ‘it had no dominion over Him.’”  Our own loneliness and our fear of future loneliness cannot be banished by mental effort, but only, as Cardinal Ratzinger writes, “by the presence of someone who loves him.” Our Lord reached into and through death itself so we would never be alone.  “But death is no longer the path into icy solitude; the gates of sheol have been opened . . . The doors of death stand open since life–love–has dwelt in death.”

Afterward, the Disciples looked on as Christ ascended to the Father, unsure of what would happen next, and undoubtedly sad to lose Him.  But in ascending, He went to the Father “to plead our case.” And He was Emmanuel, God with them and us, in a way no one anticipated. Newman comments, “Yet we must not suppose, that in leaving us He closed the gracious economy of His Incarnation, and withdrew the ministration of His incorruptible Manhood from His work of loving mercy towards us. . .He remembered our necessity, and completed His work, bequeathing to us a special mode of approaching Him, a Holy Mystery, in which we receive (we know not how) the virtue of that Heavenly Body, which is the life of all that believe.”  This is the Eucharist, in which we are united with Christ, who is our sustenance. When we accept this mystery by faith, we can come to understand the vitality of Sunday Mass in the life of a Christian.

The Resurrection should also assure our unsteady hearts that neither “ …  Trials nor temptation, time of tribulation, time of wealth, pain, bereavement, anxiety, sorrow, the insults of the enemy, the loss of worldly goods, can ‘separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’”  We need not turn in on ourselves, supposing that if we do not take care of ourselves, no one will. We need not fear pain and death, for Christ is with us even in and through these. In His Resurrection, we see that death has no power over Him, and if we remain in Him, it cannot possess us either.  His quickening spirit gives life to our own. Forever we belong to Him and nothing can take us from his grasp.

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

We call His presence in this Holy Sacrament a spiritual presence, not as if ‘spiritual’ were but a name or mode of speech.

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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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The Eucharistic Presence

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