Albino_Luciani,_1969_(3)
Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
St. John Henry Newman's Gospel Energy
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(Patriarch of Venice, Albino Luciani, 1969)

St John Henry Newman’s Gospel Energy

Newman had a real interest in Astronomy, built an observatory and would have been fascinated to know that Albino Luciani’s impact was described, after he died, by the Vatican, as being “like a whirling comet” …a flash of hope…a marvellous rainbow.” John Paul I, who had the shortest pontificate in history (33 days 26th August – 28th September, 1978), is due to be beatified on 4th September.  One can imagine that Newman, inspired by St Philip Neri’s humourous approach to evangelisation -in the street among the traders and shoppers and well beyond it – would appreciate the Pope’s observations on the need, at times, for a playful approach to preaching the Gospel:

“When St Thomas Aquinas said Joking and making people smile was a virtue, he was in agreement with the “glad tiding” preached by Christ and the hilaritas recommended by St Augustine.  He overcame pessimism, clothed Christian life in joy and invited us to keep up our courage also with healthy, pure joys, which we meet on our way.” (General Audience, 20th September).

Newman shares the same infectious zeal in this excerpt from one of his homilies:

Let us pray to be filled with the spirit of love.  Let us come to Church joyfully; let us partake the Holy Communion adoringly; let us pray sincerely; let us work cheerfully; let us suffer thankfully; let us throw our heart into all we think, say, and do; and may it be a spiritual heart! This is to be a new creature in Christ; this is to walk by faith. (Parochial and Plain Sermons V, 12).

Newman would also agree with John Paul I’s synthesis of what mission means when he says that the principal ecclesial “task of divinizing does not exempt the Church from the task of humanizing.” The coming of Christ as one like us in all things but sin, reveals that God understands us from the inside and communicates with us through our conscience.  Newman taught that this encounter helps us identify right from wrong.  Then, in freedom, he says, we can prudently choose, using practical wisdom, how to apply the Church’s teaching, revealed by the Holy Spirit, to particular situations. By educating our conscience, through prayer and the sacraments, the closer we will unite ourselves with God. And become, more speedily, the most humane person he calls us to be. As Newman energetically states:

In all circumstances, of joy or sorrow, hope or fear, let us aim at having Him in our inmost heart.  Let us acknowledge Him as enthroned within us at the very springs of thought and affection.  Let us submit ourselves to His guidance and sovereign direction.  Let us come to Him that He may forgive us, cleanse us, changes, guide us and save us.
(Parochial and Plain Sermons V, 16).

John Paul I is caught up in the same star-light canopy, which perpetually enfolds the galaxy called ‘salvation’, when he writes, as Patriarch of Venice:

“You have loved us, O Lord!  The crib and Bethlehem are only the beginning.  Nazareth, Jerusalem, Calvary, the cross and the resurrection are the completion.  They say to us “He has done everything for you. What will you do for him?”  (Radio Message, 25th December, 1971, Translated by Lori Piper, The Pope John Paul I Association Website).

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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