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In the Gospel, the “Good News,” we have a treasure so precious it must be guarded and shared. But unlike coins or cars or clothes, with the Gospel we guard it when we share it. Although many of us flinch at the thought of sharing our faith, wanting to tell our Lord, “You’re trusting me?! What if I blow it? Leave it to the experts,”—retreating is the surest way to lose it. As Robert Frost wrote, “The only way out is through.” This is our way, and thankfully we have St. John Henry Newman to strengthen and guide us as he does in his sermon “The Gospel, a Trust Committed to Us.”

We have to get over our reluctance, Newman says, by understanding how simple the job really is. Guarding the faith is just about keeping what has been given to us, not about coming up with new ideas, formulas or interpretations. “We have not to find the Truth, it is put into our hands; we have but to commit it to our hearts, to preserve it inviolate, and to deliver it over to our posterity.” It’s that straightforward, and yes, while ministers of the Gospel have a special role to play in guarding the faith, there are no experts when it comes to faith. 

Still we have questions like “what exactly is the faith?” Newman tells us plainly: “By the Faith is evidently meant, as St. Paul’s words show, some definite doctrine; not a mere temper of mind or principle of action, much less, vaguely, the Christian cause … ” There was a tendency in Newman’s time that persists today, to water down the message of the faith because it is so big and hard to grasp. Teachers were and still are encouraged to invent new syntheses and interpretations that exclude specific doctrines in order to make the faith easier to comprehend and to get all the different factions to agree. This is an error, Newman says, because by emphasizing one doctrine, these teachers abandon another: “For instance, you will meet with writers who consider that all the Attributes and Providences of God are virtually expressed in the one proposition, ‘God is Love;’ the other notices of His Unapproachable Glory contained in Scripture being but modifications of this. In consequence, they are led on to deny, first, the doctrine of eternal punishment, as being inconsistent with this notion of Infinite Love. … ” 

The articles of our faith are big and tough to grasp; in fact, that’s why we need faith to believe them, a life-long faith that requires perseverance, constant work and learning. But there are not many articles and they have been firmly held and articulated since the Church’s inception. Belief in the One Triune God, God as Creator and Judge, Divine Revelation, Christ for salvation, the Eucharist, baptism, confession of sin—they are all right there in Scripture! To invent new doctrines or to reduce others is to abandon the faith begun with Christ Himself and transmitted by the Apostles and other believers down through history to ourselves. We are duty bound to to believe and share each and every one of them as our circumstances allow. 

Newman points out that precisely because the faith is too large for us to grasp completely, we must be careful not to lose any one aspect of it. “This sense of the seriousness of our charge is increased by considering, that after all we do not know, and cannot form a notion, what is the real final object of the Gospel Revelation. Men are accustomed to say, that it is the salvation of the world, which it certainly is not. If, instead of this, we say that Christ came ‘to purify unto Himself a peculiar people,’n then, indeed, we speak a great Truth; but this, though a main end of our preaching, is not its simple and ultimate object. Rather, as far as we are told at all, that object is the glory of God; but we cannot understand what is meant by this, or how the Dispensation of the Gospel promotes it.” 

In the Christian economy, to give is to receive, and the more we give the faith that has been entrusted to us, the more of it we will receive in return. Ultimately, we should keep this trust just as it is because God has told us to. We, who in this twenty-first century are unaccustomed to mystery, should remember this especially. And we should invoke the Holy Spirit, our teacher and comforter, who will not only help us understand and share our faith, but give us the courage to live by it.

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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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The Mystery of the Holy Trinity

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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