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Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
Slopes, Popes and Newman
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[Cardinal Woytlya, from temperna.org]

Slopes, Popes and Newman

Easter Week, after navigating the slalom course of Lent, traditionally marks the official end of the ski season.

I recently came across my smiling ‘Pope on a slope’ gold framed picture of John Paul II, in his white zip-up jacket. Snow covered, post-resurrection, getaways were doubtless as popular with him, as they are with so many people today.

His biographer, Tad Szulc, noted that on skiing trips, kayaking, and trekking the first two hours of every morning were kept free for him to pray and reflect . In his Message for the World Day of Tourism (2000), John Paul II speaks of how leisure enables us to understand more deeply the relationships between God and ourselves, other people, and the natural world. This contemplation should inspire us to resist all forms of destructive force present in every human and environmental ecology:

Tourism is also an occasion for solidarity. With its call for inner conversation and reconciliation with our brethren, the Jubilee invites believers and people of good will to establish a social order based on mercy, justice and peace. It spurs us to be aware of the responsibilities we will have towards nature and towards the situations of poverty and exploitation which affect so many people and numerous countries of the world.

Thus the Jubilee message encourages pilgrims and tourists to have eyes that can “see” reality beyond the superficial level, especially when there is an opportunity to visit places and situations where people live in precarious human conditions and their longing for equitable development is seriously undermined by factors of environmental imbalance or structural injustices.

As John Paul II had done, Benedict XVI highlighted the relationship between the ecology of socio-economic, familial and cultural structures and caring for the environment.

The pastor must be inspired by Christ’s holy zeal: for him it is not a matter of indifference that so many people are living in the desert. And there are so many kinds of desert. There is the desert of poverty, the desert of hunger and thirst, the desert of abandonment, of loneliness, of destroyed love. There is the desert of God’s darkness, the emptiness of souls no longer aware of their dignity or the goal of human life. The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast. Therefore the earth’s treasures no longer serve to build God’s garden for all to live in, but they have been made to serve the powers of exploitation and destruction. (Mass of inauguration of Pontificate, 24th April 2005).

Pope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium, quotes from John Henry Newman’s words to his mother, about his religious awakening, during his Mediterranean travels. By so doing, the present Pope identifies the accord between Newman, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

In some places a spiritual “desertification” has evidently come about, as the result of attempts by some societies to build without God or to eliminate their Christian roots. In those place “the Christian world is becoming sterile, and it is depleting itself like an overexploited ground which transforms into a desert.” (EG, 86).

Another letter by Newman to E L Garbett weaves together the strands of influence he has had upon three Popes when he observes that “I have been accustomed to consider the action of the creator on and in the created universe, as parallel in a certain sense to that of the soul upon the body.” (Letters and Diaries XXI, 497).

Inspired by the Bible and Patristic Saints, Newman associates a transfigured landscape with conversion of an individual’s heart. He says in one of his Parochial and Plain Sermons(1,21)

“Work together with God, therefore, my brethren, in this work of your redemption…Glorious, indeed, will be the spring time of the Resurrection, when all that seemed dry and withered will bud forth and blossom.”

Fr Peter Conley

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There is a clear picture that emerges from these glimpses into life at The Oratory School: Education was in service of man, not the other way around. Play found its proper place, not only as a balance to rigorous academic study, but as an important part of human development.

O most Sacred, most loving Heart of Jesus, Thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and Thou beatest for us still.

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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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