Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Blessed John Henry Newman?

So I haven't yet got round to saying anything about the news concerning Cardinal John Henry Newman. On Friday, Pope Benedict recognised the healing of Deacon Jack Sullivan in 2001 as a miracle resulting from the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God John Henry Newman. The miraculous healing from serious debility of the spine occurred in Boston in the United States following prayers for Cardinal Newman’s intercession. This paves the way for Cardinal Newman to be beatified, which means he would be known as BLESSED John Henry Newman, and is one step away from canonization as SAINT John Henry Newman. Commentators think that beatification could be this autumn, and could lead to a papal visit next year. We shall see...
Cardinal Newman is of great importance in the history of Christianity in Britain, both as an Anglican and later as a Catholic. Ironically in some ways he's better known abroad than here. Take a look at the press release on the Bishops' site here and at their general pages on him here.
It would be a great boost for the Church here if this all goes ahead. I remember visiting the little community at Littlemore outside Oxford, where he was received into the Church - very moving. Then there was, of course, the strange episode a while back when they opened his grave and found - almost nothing! I'll be returning to Newman in the future here, as there is so much to say about him. Meanwhile, a beautiful prayer of his...

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.

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