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Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
Jesus the Beginning of Creation
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Begin again.  These are our Lord’s words for us, especially as Lent draws us closer to its end, when perhaps we have failed to keep the resolutions we so earnestly pledged to keep.  In a meditation for Good Friday, Blessed Newman explains how God has not only offered us a new beginning, He entered into it.

After we had fallen into sin, by “His holy Prophet Isaias, [God] announced before He came, ‘Behold I create new heavens and a new earth’ (Isaias lxv. 17).”   This God announced, but that He himself would be the new creation, that “He who made Adam in the beginning resolved in His mercy to make a new Adam, and by a further ineffable condescension determined that that new Adam should be Himself,” this no man could foretell.

That God should become this new Adam, Newman reveals, was confirmed in Christ’s very passion: “The Creator came as if He were a creature, because He took upon Him a created nature—and as, at the first, Eve was formed out of the side of Adam, so now, when He hung on the cross, though not a bone of Him was broken, his side was

pierced, and out of it came the grace, represented by the blood and the water, out of which His bride and spouse, His Holy Church, was made.”

As Jesus is the beginning of this creation, he is also its source, for “all the sanctity of all portions of that Holy Church is derived from Him as a beginning; and He feeds us with His Divine Flesh in the Holy Eucharist, in order to spread within us, in the hearts of all of us, the blessed leaven of the New Creation.”  St. Paul says of Jesus, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Col. i. 17).”  When we look to His Church, we see these lines from Scripture shine in the light of reality, for “All the wisdom of the Doctors, and the courage and endurance of the Martyrs, and the purity of Virgins, and the zeal of Preachers, and the humility and mortification of religious men, is from Him, as the beginning of the new and heavenly creation of God,” Newman proclaims.

Blessed Newman closes his meditation with a prayer for “all ranks and conditions of men in Thy Holy Church” including bishops, priests, pastors, religious bodies, fathers, husbands, wives, children, the aged, young people, and even business men and women, for every one of these vocations

“have sprung from Thee and live in Thy Life.”  Having begun in Him, we desire to stay in Him, and so Newman prays for “all of us the necessary graces of faith, hope, charity, and contrition.”

This last one – contrition – stands out to us now.  We turn to our Lord and wonder if we can return and begin again.  Here the words of St. Josemaria Escriva should guide us back: “You strayed from the way and did not return because you were ashamed.  It would be more logical if you were ashamed not to return.”

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The world which sees only appearances cannot comprehend the hidden reality of a heart captive to Christ. 

With this indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we have the indwelling of Christ in our souls. Christ is born in us. The Holy Spirit makes us children of God, crying out Abba Father, and restores in us the likeness of Christ.

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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.
About Newman
Fr. Juan Velez

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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