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Throughout his life, as both and Anglican clergyman and a Catholic, St. John Henry Newman was a model for holiness in the modern era. It can be overwhelming to confront the wounds and sins in our world and hearts, but Newman’s sermon “The State of Salvation,” composed around 1840, offers encouragement that, in Christ, the Christian is actually made holy, not merely declared to be so.

First, Newman draws upon Ephesians 4:24 to reflect on how we are “new men” in Christ, a phrase he no doubt relished. Newman’s “new man” is truly righteous, truly holy, because he is made new by God in baptism. The Christian truly is a “new creation,” lives in a “new world.” Newman cites copiously from the New Testament to show the unambiguous way in which the Christian is utterly different than his native, natural state by virtue of adoption into Christ, more different from his natural state than an animal is different from a human, an utterly “new creature” in Christ. As a foundation for holiness, we can trust that we are indeed new creations in the new world of Christ’s Kingdom.

Second, living the baptized life, we can be sure that we have the power in Christ to quite simply stop sinning. To live in a “state of salvation” is not merely going to heaven; it is a state here and now in this life. According to Newman, many presume that mere faith blots out all sin, “that faith, if they have it, blots out their sins as fast as they commit them.” This is, quite simply, unbiblical. The Scriptures plainly portray that salvation “is a state in which power is given us,” by the grace of Christ, “to act rightly, and therefore punishment falls on us if we act wrongly.” 

Newman comments on the life of Christ, who heals and forgives people “that they might not sin again.” He refers to Christ’s parables, in which there clearly are those who “continue in God’s favor, and those who lose it.” And he cites heavily from the New Testament authors, especially 1 John, to show that “Whoever is born of God sins not” (1 John v. 18). The evidence abounds to any attentive reader of the Scriptures: “there is no such person under the Gospel as a ‘justified sinner,’ only sinners and ‘justified saints.’ The Christian is one who “has ceased to be a sinner,” who shares in a glorious, heavenly communion; but those who persist in “willful sin” are those who leave the Christian path, who are “thrown out of grace.” The Bible’s portrait of a Christian is that of one who persists in the righteousness given by Christ; if we fall into sin, we might slip into the “skirts of the kingdom,” but always have recourse to God’s mercy, and can turn our gaze heavenward again, lest we fall further back into the lost darkness of the world. We must always be careful to stay on the progressive path of holiness.

But this does not mean that we merely avoid sin; the exciting adventure of holiness is, in Christ, to do good. To serve the world about us, to serve God and to serve our Church, requires simply that we abide in God’s merciful presence, listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and continually deepen our knowledge of Him through prayer and study. This does not mean that all need to be theologians; rather, Newman thinks that in a world of doubt and uncertainty, “any child, well instructed in the catechism, is, without intending it, a real missioner.” 

To know the faith is already to be on mission for the faith, in small and humble ways. Truly made sons of the Father, truly made righteous and holy, the Christian ever mindful of God and deepening in the knowledge of Him is a missionary, an evangelist, an apostolic messenger with good news of healing for the wounds of the world. Newman was a master at diagnosing the wounds of our time, and invites us to consider the power we have in Christ to heal them. 

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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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About Newman
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