Saturday 21 March 2020

Stations of the Cross - Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman

Stations of the Cross
St. John Henry Cardinal Newman
TAN Books
ISBN 9781505116816

This lent I have read and compared two different editions of Stations of the Cross by Saint John Henry Newman. This is one of three new editions of works from this saint. And it is an excellent version. The other two volumes that were released at the same time are Meditations on Mary, Our Mother and Prayers Before The Eucharist. If they are as good as this volume, we are in for some great reads. But back to this volume. There is only one image in this volume it is The Crucifixion by Gustave Dore. 

This book is a completely new typeset. The chapters are:

Editor’s Introduction
Prayers Before The Stations Of The Cross
The First Station
The Second Station
The Third Station
The Fourth Station
The Fifth Station
The Sixth Station
The Seventh Station
The Eighth Station
The Ninth Station
The Tenth Station
The Eleventh Station
The Twelfth Station
The Thirteenth Station
The Fourteenth Station
Final Prayers

We are told in the introduction:

“As our world gets busier, less supernatural, and more complicated, Catholics need, more and more, to take just a small amount of time to focus on the supernatural, and with great simplicity. Thus, we have provided the text of St. John Henry Cardinal Newman’s Stations of the Cross, adapted from the book of his meditations.”

And also:

“These meditations on the Stations of the Cross were written for his parishioners in the Birmingham Oratory Church, who were far from erudite scholars. Their education was minimal, and their available time even less, and they loved Newman all the more for the simple and easy way in which he led them to deeper devotion.

Thus, in our time, these meditations can aid us with the simple and singular focus on Christ’s passion and our own failings which contributed to it. We have given them slight editing for modern English as well as having added additional prayers to round out the work. May all who avail themselves of these meditations draw grace from the deep meditation.”

One of the things I love about this edition is that the Responses and prayers at with each station. So that you do not need to constantly flip back and forth. I also appreciated the grounded-ness mentioned in the introduction. This is a simple humble way of the cross. But one that will draw us in, either in personal, communal, or corporate praying of the stations. The main part of the reflection is very similar to other editions by Newman. Only some slight changing of language to make it more accessible.

This is a wonderful little volume that will enrich your experience of Lent, of throughout the year as you take time to reflect on the stations. Both the eBook and physical editions are beautifully set. And it is a book I can highly recommend!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Reviews of other books by John Henry Newman:
Stations of the Cross

Meditations on Mary, Our Mother 
Prayers Before The Eucharist

CTS books about Newman:
John Henry Newman: Lead Kindly Light -Dr. Raymond Edwards
Newman His Life and Legacy – Fr. Ian Ker
John Henry Newman Apostle to the Doubtful - Meriol Trevor and Leonie Caldecott
Newman Prayer Book - The Birmingham Oratory (ed)
The Mind of Cardinal Newman: From His Own Writings - Charles Stephen Dessain 

CTS Books by John Henry Newman:
Meditations on Stations of the Cross
Christ upon the Waters - CTS Onefifties Book 3

Reviews of other books about Newman:
Take Five: Meditations with John Henry Newman -  Mike Aquilina and Juan Velez

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