Tag Archives: John Henry Newman

First Sunday of Advent

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Therefore we are called to be vigilant because we do not know the ‘precise moment’ when the master will return to the house. The ‘house’ can be seen as an image of the Christian community which prepares itself with vigilance through prayer and works, to welcome the master. The ‘house’ can also be thought of as the spiritual dwelling of each of us that needs to be built daily.

Everyone must also take care to complete the work that God has entrusted to them, watching that they will not find themselves unprepared for the Lord when he comes. The season of Advent calls us to strengthen our spirit of prayer, carefully fighting the negligence and the weakness that makes us yield to sin.

Blessed John Henry Newman wrote in his spiritual diary that to be vigilant with Christ is to look ahead without forgetting the past. It is not to forget that He has suffered for us, it is to lose ourselves in contemplation of the grandeur of redemption. It is to continually renew the passion and agony of Christ – to cover with joy that mantle of affliction that Christ wore first and then left behind when he ascended into heaven. It is separation from this sensible world to join the life beyond the senses. This is how Christ will come, and come in the way he has said. (J. H. Newman, Diario spirituale e meditazione, 93).

Excerpts of a Letter for the First Sunday of Advent from the Congregation of Clergy

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Benedict XVI to the Roman Curia: face the tyranny of mammon by seeking Christ’s face, know that Christ’s wounds remain open

The annual papal address to the laity, sisters, brothers, priests, bishops and cardinals (the Roman Curia) who serve the Church in the various offices at the Holy See and Vatican that make the Pope’s ministry possible. It is long, but it is breath-taking. Read, prayer, and change accordingly.

Address by the Holy Father on the occasion of Christmas
greetings to the Roman Curia

20 December 2010

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It gives me great pleasure to be
here with you, dear Members of the College of Cardinals and Representatives of
the Roman Curia and the Governatorato, for this traditional gathering. I extend
a cordial greeting to each one of you, beginning with Cardinal Angelo Sodano,
whom I thank for his sentiments of devotion and communion and for the warm good
wishes that he expressed to me on behalf of all of you. Prope est jam Dominus,
venite, adoremus!
As one family let us contemplate the mystery of Emmanuel,
God-with-us, as the Cardinal Dean has said. I gladly reciprocate his good
wishes and I would like to thank all of you most sincerely, including the Papal
Representatives all over the world, for the able and generous contribution that
each of you makes to the Vicar of Christ and to the Church.

Excita, Domine,
potentiam tuam, et veni
. Repeatedly during the season of Advent the Church’s
liturgy prays in these or similar words. They are invocations that were
probably formulated as the Roman Empire was in decline. The disintegration of
the key principles of law and of the fundamental moral attitudes underpinning
them burst open the dams which until that time had protected peaceful
coexistence among peoples. The sun was setting over an entire world. Frequent
natural disasters further increased this sense of insecurity. There was no
power in sight that could put a stop to this decline. All the more insistent,
then, was the invocation of the power of God: the plea that he might come and
protect his people from all these threats.

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Rite of Beatification of John Henry Newman

Many Catholics and Christians of good will are genuinely interested in the formula the Church uses to beatify someone, thus identifying a person a “blessed.” Notice who does/says what in the formula. The following is the rite (with a brief biography) used today by Pope Benedict XVI:

The Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley requests that the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman be beatified
The Vice-Postulator of the Cause for the Canonisation of Cardinal Newman reads a biography of the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman.

Bl Dominic Barberi.jpgJohn Henry Newman was born in London in 1801. He was for over twenty years an Anglican clergyman and Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. As a preacher, theologian and leader of the Oxford Movement, he was a prominent figure in the Church of England. His studies of the early Church drew him progressively towards full communion with the Catholic Church. With his companions he withdrew to a life of study and prayer at Littlemore outside Oxford where in 1845 Blessed Dominic Barberi, a Passionist priest, received him into the Catholic Church.

In1847, he was himself ordained priest in Rome and, encouraged by Blessed Pope Pius IX, went on to found the Oratory of St Philip Neri in England. He was a prolific and
influential writer on a variety of subjects, including the development of Christian
doctrine, faith and reason, the true nature of conscience, and university education. In 1879 he was created Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII. Praised for his humility, his life of prayer, his unstinting care of souls and contributions to the intellectual life of the Church, he died in the Birmingham Oratory which he had founded on 11 August 1890.
Declaration of Beatification

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Pope Benedict XVI:
Acceding to the request of our Brother Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, by our apostolic authority we declare that the venerable Servant of God John Henry, Cardinal, Newman, priest of the Congregation of the Oratory, shall henceforth be invoked as Blessed and that his feast shall be celebrated every year of the ninth of October, in the places and according to the norms established by Church law.
In the name oft he Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Acclamation at the Beatification

Praise to the Holiest in the height, and in the depth be praised: in all his words most wonderful, most sure in all his ways. (Cardinal John Henry Newman)
The Archbishop of Birmingham thanks the Holy Father:

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Most Holy Father, I, the Ordinary of Birmingham, give heartfelt thanks to your Holiness for having today proclaimed Blessed Henry Newman.
+The Archbishop and the Postulator of the cause of Blessed John Henry Newman receive the kiss of peace from the Holy Father. Procession of reliquary including members of the Newman family and the Oratorians, to greet the Holy Father.

A Reflection on Cardinal Newman’s Beatification

A remarkable event in the Church will happen in less than a week’s time: the beatification of the Venerable Servant of God Cardinal John Henry Newman, easily the best known cardinal and thinker we have.

Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, head of Canada’s Salt and Light Television invests us with an excellent sense of who John Henry Cardinal Newman was as a person and as a priest in a video presentation. Watch Father Rosica’s fine introduction to Newman or read the transcript here.

In the days before the Cardinal’s beatification on September 19th, perhaps we can get to know the value of friendship with Christ and with others through the life and work.

Britain’s Bishops have no taste

Papal staging at Cotton Park.jpgThe UK Bishops’ Conference will be providing the Holy Father –and the Church universal– this sanctuary for the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Rite of Beatification for Cardinal Newman. The the only possible thing to say is: OMG!!!! What rubbish.

If this is in fact what Britain’s Bishops are approving for the papal ceremonies it is, in my mind, a complete disregard (a slap in the face) for the liturgical leadership of Pope Benedict and the renewal he’s asked for in recent years. Why spend so much money, time and energy on such stuff.
Architecture is only one piece of the liturgical ac of prayer … I pray the music, flowers, and ritual actions, vestments are not so churlish. Two things we can be certain of: the papal homily will be exceptional and the papal presence will be superior.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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