Seeker of the Truth
Today (Sunday 13th October) the Pope will canonise in Rome Blessed John Henry Newman, (1801-90). It is a great day for the Universal Church, for the Church in England and also for our Parish, because Newman visited Fr Luigi Gentili here (the first Rosminian missionary in England) in 1845 just after he had been received into the Church by another Italian missionary, Blessed Dominic Barberi. Cards will be distributed this weekend to commemorate the event. Newman was well-known in his day, was a prolific writer and poet and a great preacher who had a real following. His written works have much to say to us today. As a young man, Newman underwent a profound conversion and became an Anglican clergyman, but his constant seeking of the Truth led him to the fullness of that Truth in the One, Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Apostles. He joined the Oratorians and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1847. In 1879 he was named a Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII and given the red hat. Much will be said about him this weekend, but this is one of my favourite quotes from his writings:
“God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.
Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about” (Meditations and Devotions, 1848). St John Henry Newman, pray for us.
Fr Paul Gillham IC