We know, my brethren, that in the natural world nothing is superfluous, nothing incomplete, nothing independent; but part answers to part, and all details combine to form one mighty whole. Order and harmony are among the first perfections which we discern in this visible creation; and the more we examine into it, the more widely and minutely they are found to belong to it.
Dear Newman Friends!
When Pope Francis gave an audience to the media representatives three days after his election as the successor of Peter, he said: “How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor!“ (16 March 2013). In his programmatic Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium he mentions the reasons for his choice: “Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor,
Sr. Mary-Birgit Dechant, F.S.O.
“Our faith in Christ, who became poor, and was always close to the poor and the outcast, is the basis of our concern for the integral development of society’s most neglected members” (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, N. 186).
These words of Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium can rightly and easily be applied to the work and life of Blessed John Henry Newman and especially to his work among the poor of Littlemore. Using Newman’s
My God, I adore you for taking on yourself the charge of sinners; of those, who not only cannot profit you, but who continually grieve and profane you. You have taken on yourself the office of a minister, and that for those who did not ask for it. I adore you for your incomprehensible condescension in ministering to me. I know and feel, O my God, that you might have left me, as I wished to be left, to go my own way, to go straight forward
On Monday, 29th February, the former home of Blessed John Henry Newman in Littlemore, Oxford known simply as The College, was the setting for a lecture on and reading of Newman’s historic Second Spring Sermon. In the same room in which Newman kept his library while living there, Newman enthusiasts gathered from Oxfordshire, Birmingham and as far away as Sussex. Sister Bianca Feuerstein FSO, member of The Spiritual Family The Work who are the custodians of The College, welcomed the group who filled the library. Mr Esme Howard, a Trustee of the charity that operates The College, served as Master of Ceremonies.
Sermon 4 (Subjects of the Day)
30th October 1842
“O tarry thou the Lord’s leisure; be strong, and He shall comfort thine heart; and put thou thy trust in the Lord.” – Ps. 27:16.
No state is more dreary than that of the repentant sinner, when first he understands where he is, and begins to turn his thoughts towards his Great Master whom he has offended. Of course it is tempered with comfort and hope, as are all acts of duty; and on the retrospect, far from being distressing to dwell upon, it will be even pleasant. But at the time it is a most dreary state. A man finds that he has a great work to do, and does not know how to do it, or even what it is, and his impatience and restlessness are as great as his conscious ignorance; indeed, he is restless because he is ignorant. There is great danger of his taking wrong steps,
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” – 1 Cor. 9:24.
Nothing is more clearly brought out in Scripture, or more remarkable in itself than this, that in every age, out of the whole number of persons blessed with the means of grace, few only have duly availed them of this great benefit. So certain, so uniform is the fact, that it is almost stated as a doctrine. “Many are called, few are chosen.” Again, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” And again, “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat … Strait is the gate,
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we also may be able to comfort those who are in any distress, by the exhortation wherewith we also are exhorted by God.” 2 Cor. i. 3, 4.
There is no one who has loved the world so well, as He who made it. None has so understood the human heart, and human nature, and human society in its diversified forms, none has so tenderly entered into and measured the greatness and littleness of man, his doings and sufferings, his circumstances and his fortunes, none has felt such profound compassion for his ignorance and guilt, his present rebellion and his prospects hereafter, as the Omniscient. What He has actually done for us is the proof of this. “God so loved the world, as to give His Only-begotten Son.” He loved mankind in their pollution, in spite of the abhorrence with which that pollution filled Him.
Today we celebrate the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary; when the Angel Gabriel was sent to tell her that she was to be the Mother of our Lord, and when the Holy Ghost came upon her, and overshadowed her with the power of the Highest. In that great event was fulfilled her anticipation as expressed in the text. All generations have called her blessed.
The Cardinal said: I am not going to make a long address to you, my dear boys, or say anything that you have not often heard before from your superiors, for I know well in what good hands you are, and I know that their instructions come to you with greater force than any you can have from a stranger. If I speak to you at all, it is because I have lately come from the Holy Father, and am, in some sort, his representative, and so in the years to come you may remember that you saw me today and heard me speak in his name, and remember it to your profit.