Jesus mocked, El Prado MuseumIn the season of Lent we prepare for the celebration of the mystery of Christ’s Passion and Death and Resurrection. The events of Christ’s Baptism and Temptations in the desert, and of his Transfiguration are a preparation for Easter. Like the disciples we need to come to know Christ who gives his life for us. Cardinal Newman begins a sermon titled “Christ, the Son of God made Man” by citing the Scripture texts that affirm Christ’s divinity. After this he explains that this Christ who is Divine is also Son of God, and that his sonship is not only in regards to his human nature. Christ is eternally the Son; otherwise he would have two personalities, a Divine and a human. Christ is one Person, and He is the Son of God. “In heaven He was this, and did this, as God; and on earth He was this, and did this, in that manhood which He assumed, but whether in heaven, or on earth, still as the Son.”

This important truth about the unity of the Divine and human natures in the one person of Christ also sheds light on the mystery of Redemption and the extent of God’s mercy with man. The One who will suffer the terrible passion is none less than the “One All-gracious Son of God.”

Newman explains: “Again, we read in Scripture of His being sent by the Father, addressing the Father, interceding to Him for His disciples, and declaring to them that His Father is greater than He; in what sense says and does He all this? Some will be apt to say that He speaks only in His human nature; words which are perplexing to the mind that tries really to contemplate Him as Scripture describes Him, as if He were speaking only under a representation, and not in His Person. No; it is truer to say that He, that One All-gracious Son of God, who had been with the Father from the beginning, equal in all divine perfections and one in substance, but subordinate as being the Son,—as He had ever been His Word, and Wisdom, and Counsel, and Will, and Power in Heaven,—so after His incarnation, and upon the earth, still spoke and acted after, yet with, the Father as before, though in a new nature, which He had put on, and in humiliation.”

With this consideration of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity Newman comments on the following text of the Letter to the Hebrews which serves as the main point of his sermon:

“Christ being come, an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building.” Heb. ix. 11.

Newman writes: “This was the new and perfect tabernacle into which He entered; entered, but not to be confined, not to be circumscribed by it. The Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; though His own hands “made it and fashioned it,” still He did not cease to be what He was, because He became man, but was still the Infinite God, manifested in, not altered by the flesh. He took upon Him our nature, as an instrument of His purposes, not as an agent in the work.”

As the Athanasian Creed professes Jesus is “perfect God, and he is perfect man, with a rational soul and human flesh,” but he is not only a man like we are; not a man in exactly the same sense as we are.

“He was man because He had our human nature wholly and perfectly, but His Person is not human like ours, but divine. He who was from eternity, continued one and the same, but with an addition. His incarnation was a “taking of the manhood into God.””

Newman draws the following conclusions: when Christ prayed it was not the prayer of a supplicating man; it was the prayer of the Eternal Son of God. When He spat on dust and anointed a blind man He “exerted the virtue of his Divine Essence.” When He shed his blood upon the Cross although the blood flowed from his manhood it was “blood full of power and virtue, instinct with life and grace, as issuing most mysteriously from Him who was the Creator of the world.”

These considerations on the mystery of Christ, the Son of God, can lead us to a deeper meditation of God’s mercy for each one and for mankind.

 

 

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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.
About Newman
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The Indwelling Spirit

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Though the invitation is open to all, not everyone responds to it in faith. Those who accept the call, embrace Christ, and live according to His teachings; they are the chosen ones.

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John Henry Newman calls the Holy Mass the Gospel Feast and takes us through numerous biblical passages that prefigure this great Sacrament.

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