Virgin Weaving
Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
Jesus Only Begotten Son
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Holy men and women of the Church have in common a love of the Scriptures, and so they tunnel into its depths and find many treasures.  Blessed Newman displays these riches for us in his meditation on the profound unity of God.

Oneness is very near God’s heart, for it is present in himself, “Jesus is the only Son of the only Father—as it is said in the Creed, “I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,” and then “and in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord.”  Our one Father and his one Son share life itself, for Jesus himself says, “As the Father hath life in Himself, so He hath given to the Son also to have life in Himself” (John v. 26).

God shares this unity in himself with all of reality, and he has woven it into the world he created.  Newman writes, “Thus Almighty God has set up all things in unity.”  And quoting St. Paul says that God has set up this unity especially in his Church, for “There is one body and one Spirit—as ye are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all” (Eph. iv. 4-6).  God is not indifferent to our being one in his body, rather “It is His wise and gracious will that His followers should not follow their own way, and form many bodies, but one,” Newman says.

In a striking allusion, Newman shows us that God not only testifies to this profound unity of his Church in the words of Scripture and in the words of his Son, but even in the very ordinary reality of Jesus’ humanity: “This was the meaning of the mystery of His garment at the time of His crucifixion, which “was without seam, woven from the top throughout” (John xix. 23). And therefore was it that the soldiers were not allowed to break His sacred limbs, for like the Jewish Easter Lamb not a bone of Him was to be broken.”  Christ’s words, his robe, and his whole life are a seamless testimony and model of the very unity he desires for us, not only with himself, but with one another.

To our Lord’s prayer that we might be one, Newman joins his prayer “for the unity of the Church and the reconciliation and peace of all ChristiansO Lord Jesus Christ…look down in pity on the manifold divisions among those who profess Thy faith, and heal the many wounds which the pride of man and the craft of Satan have inflicted upon Thy people. Break down the walls of separation which divide one party and denomination of Christians from another. Look with compassion on the souls who have been born in one or other of these various communions which not Thou, but man hath made. Set free the prisoners from these unauthorised forms of worship, and bring them all into that one communion which thou didst set up in the beginning, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

In reflecting on Blessed Newman’s words, let us ask ourselves if we have done all we can to become one with our brothers and sisters.  Do we pray for this unity, asking God for his grace to heal division?  Do we go out of our way to listen and learn from others with whom we may disagree?  Like the God the Father, do we seek and search to welcome others into the light of the Holy Catholic Church?  Like his only Son, are we willing to suffer and sacrifice for the love of our separated brothers and sisters?

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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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