This weekend, Cardinal John Henry Newman, amongst several others, will be canonized a Saint by Pope Francis. St John Henry was originally a famous Victorian Englishman and Anglican Theologian, a brilliant scholar who converted to Catholicism. He worked hard to foster acceptance of Catholicism in a protestant country and was dedicated to helping the poor in the industrial city of Birmingham. He also was an original writer of poems, hymns and prayers. His great contribution to theology is to show how what we believe is always open to develop and grow because we are always exploring the mystery of God’s love for us in Jesus through the guidance of the Holy Spirit of life and history. Below is a famous prayer of his which seems in many ways very modern, many of its phrases could be/and are used by “New-Agers” and yet it is pure Catholic Faith.
The Mission of My Life
“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.”
St John Henry Cardinal Newman., pray for us.
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter