As I write these words the Holy Father is celebrating the Beatification of John Henry Newman.
I wish to invoke the theme of Pope Benedict XVI’s theme ‘Heart Speaks Unto Heart’ as a guiding principle for all who use these forums to explore our wonderful True Faith.
Prayer of Blessed John Henry Newman
Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead thou me on.
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, not prayed that thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead thou me on.
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.
So long thy power has blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those Angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
I have decided to include some of my poetic efforts as a tribute to the beautiful theme expressed in the Prayer of Blessed John Henry Newman.
This one comes from about five years back. I was in a different place then, both physically and emotionally. It is untitled.
As the world drives by my window
I think of all stories untold;
Bumper to bumper in a kind of limbo;
All easing back into the fold.
That’s it, short and sweet! Feel free to post your own poetic work here.
Curious? Did Cardinal Newman write “Lead, kindly light” before or after his conversion?
I am aware of a piece in the Financial Times that charges that Benedict XVI is trying to present Newman as a conservative Catholic when he was quite the opposite. He was a moderate, an ecumenical-minded Catholic, who even opposed the dogma of papal infallibility when it was first debated at Vatican I, and only accepted it when he felt that he either had to accept it or leave Catholicism. Etc.
He wrote the poem about 10 years before becoming Catholic.
I saw the article you mention. From my perspective they have it backwards. Blessed John Henry Newman was a conservative Catholic whom liberals try to present as a liberal. Certainly today his strong opposition to relativism would put him in the conservative camp. As I understand his position on papal infallibility, he thought that the timing of its promulgation as dogma was imprudent, but did not object to the teaching in itself.
Hey colmcille (a good Irish name!)-I like your ‘Newman limerick’! Pretty cool!
Sorry, I’m not much of a poet…:shrug:
I watched on EWTN’s website today an ‘encore’ of the Beatification Mass from Cofton Park in Birmingham, England. I sang ‘sotto voce’ the opening hymn of the Mass, ‘Praise to the Holiest in the Height’ (words by Blessed Newman), and my eyes filled with tears of joy as the Holy Father pronounced the words of beatification and the veil fell, revealing the portrait of the new Blessed.
I’m of Irish ancestry-my other half’s German-but my heart was so thrilled to see this moment! I love England, and I hope and pray that Blessed Newman will pray before the throne of Our Lord for his native land!
Hi barb finnegan,
Thank you for your very touching post.
I saw the Beatification Mass live on TV. It was very moving.
You are blessed with such a talent to sing. Your name is a good Irish one too!
May God Bless you and your husband and all your family.
Here is an extract from ‘Alive!’, a free monthly Catholic newspaper here in Ireland:
'In 1833 Newman had written the wonderful hymn, Lead Kindly Light. His trust in that ‘Light’ was absolute. His faith in Divine Providence was evident in all his preaching. In one sermon he stated:
“Let a person who trusts he is on the whole serving God acceptably,
look back upon his past life, and he will find how critical were moments and acts,
which at the time seemed the most indifferent: as for instance the school
he was sent to, his falling in with those persons who have most benefitted him,
the accidents which determined his calling or prospects.
God’s hand is ever over his own, and He leads them forward by a way they
know not.” ’
If the The Vatican Astronomy [Perhaps astroology perhaps would be a better ID] has its way Cardinal Newman would be condemned as a heritic. Ihe Pontifical Academy of Scientists [mostly atheistic or agnostic like Hawking] would no doubt second that motion. Why?
Those who cite Newman in defense of theistic evolution never cite the following from [FONT=Arial]The Idea of a University:[/FONT]
…it is true…that Revelation has in one or two instances advanced beyond its chosen territory, which is the invisible world, in order to throw light upon the **history **of the material universe. Holy Scripture…does declare a few momentous facts, so few that they may be counted, of a physical character. It speaks of a process of formation out of chaos which occupied six days; it speaks of the firmament, of the sun and moon being created for the sake of the earth; of the earth being immovable; of a great deluge and of **several other similar facts and events **(emphasis added).12
12The Idea of a University (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1959), p. 399.
Sounds like the good Cardinal was a Creationist like all the church fathers including Damacene who stated quite emphatically that “dragons” alias dinosaurs were real and lived in his time [7-8th centuries] and were created by God along with man… **Oh my, dragons, lions, tigers, bears and creationists, Oh my! **
Damacene was indeed correct because C-14 dating of the past 20 years has confirmed that dinosaurs from TX to AK are 2000 times younger than that claimed by evolutionists AND the mother of all surprises – collagen and soft tissue exists in some dinosaur bones from the Hell Creek formation in Montana (Science March 2005) whereas it has always been assumed such tissue could not last much beyond 30,000 real years. So---------
Big Jack Horner sat in a corner** scraping a dinosaur bone.** Some soft tissue appeared And he said, "Just what I feared!
**Evolution’s long ages are gone!" **
**Galileo Was Wrong:
The Church Was Right
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Thank you for your post.
I, too, am avidly looking out for Newman’s writings. There is a new biography of the great man due out soon. I think it’s author is an Irish theologian. I’ll keep you posted.