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Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman
The Lord's Resurrection
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The Resurrection is the climax of the great drama of our redemption.

In “Witnesses of the Resurrection” St. John Henry Newman noted that God ordinarily works through a few to reach many. The Apostles and first disciples were relatively few, and they were the ones chosen as witnesses of Christ’s victory over death.

After the resurrection through history until today,  Christians bear testimony to the power of the resurrection. This was the case with Newman. Those who knew him well, for instance, John Bowden, John Keble, and Edward Pusey were edified by his friendship and his Christian affection. Newman in turn experienced Easter joy and peace in the relationship with his friends and their families.

Newman lived the season of Lent in 1844  at Littlemore, although his fasting was less strict the years immediately preceding. On April 7, 1844, the entry for Easter was simply that: “Easter” and the words “to Keble,” presumably indicating that he visited his friend John Keble.  The following days he exchanged letters with his friend Edward Pusey whose young daughter Lucy was dying. Lucy sent Newman her “respectful love” and thanked him for all his kindness. Newman was to her an instrument of God’s loving presence. 

A few weeks later on April 22, Lucy died; Pusey wrote to tell Newman of her last moments of life. Before dying she had what he thought was a vision of Christ: “All at once her eyes opened wide and I never such a gaze as that which was invisible to us, which continued for some time; and after this had continued for some little while, she looked me full in the face, and there came such an earthly smile, so full of love also; all expression of pain disappeared and was swallowed up in joy.” To Pusey it seemed like the countenance of someone already in Paradise.

Death with the collapse of everything that is human seems a defeat. But Lucy’s death was not a defeat. She had fought the good fight; she had kept the faith and won the crown.  Her father bore testimony that through her suffering she had matured in a life of prayer and union with God. She had triumphed with Christ. This, indeed, is the meaning of Christ’s power over death, and the meaning of his Resurrection manifested in the lives of his disciples.

Our Christian lives should bear testimony to the power of the resurrection. Such was the testimony that Lucy, her father Edward Pusey, and John Henry Newman gave. As Jesus teaches, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.” (Mt 7: 19-20). It is through our thoughts and words, acts of service, and of our work, that we bear witness to Christ.

For this reason, years later, amid the continued religious persecution of Catholics in England, Newman reminded his fellow Oratorians in Birmingham not to pay attention to the newspaper headlines in London. They would be known by those in Birmingham by their manner of living. 

In our conversations and actions and even by our countenance we can convey to others the peace and joy which Christ’s Resurrection produces, giving testimony to the saving power of grace.

For a Christian, death is no longer defeat nor something to fear, rather it is the sign of Christ’s victory. Through his death and resurrection Jesus triumphed over sin, death, and the Devil. The Cross has become the sign of his victory, his glorious resurrection, and the promise of our resurrection. By the grace He won for us, already here on earth we share in the fruits of the Paschal Mystery. Resurrexit sicut dixit!

 

 

 


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Newman lays down a firm rule in the light of life's abundant blessings: the Christian is not allowed to be gloomy.

Newman wrote, “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.”

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We need to remember our mortality, so that we may be ready to meet Our Lord each and every day. Lent and lenten mortifications have a role in this preparation. We must die to self daily, so that we may be brought to the glory of His resurrection. 

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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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