Friday 14 August 2020

A Newman Prayer Book - The Birmingham Oratory - CTS Devotions

A Newman Prayer Book
The Birmingham Oratory (Editor)
John Henry Newman
Catholic Truth Society
eISBN 9781784694265
CTS Booklet D729

Over the last few years, I have read many books from the Catholic Truth Society. This is one of a few either by or about Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman that I have read from the CTS. With his canonization in 2019 there has been a resurgence of interest in the man and his works. There are new editions of older books, and new works being published frequently. This volume was originally published in the early 2010. It was revised and the eBook was released in 2017. The physical volume has been updated again after his canonization in 2019. Many of the CTS books by and about Newman are back in print in new editions. But this one is currently only available as an electronically in some formats, and the new print edition.

The description of the book is:

“The canonisation of St John Henry Newman has led, perhaps more than ever, to a need for a simple Newman prayer book. This selection of brief extracts from Cardinal Newman’s Meditations and Devotions will introduce people to the mind and spirit of Newman, and enable many to participate in the Church’s joy. This selection of extracts has been arranged so that there is a prayer for each day of the month. Two morning and evening prayers, taken from his unpublished writings, are also included. A novena composed from Newman’s writings, allowing people to pray through Newman’s intercession, completes the prayer book.

Compiled by the Fathers of the Oratory, Birmingham.”

The chapters in the book are:

John Henry Newman, 1801-1890
Morning Prayers
Evening Prayers
Prayers for each day of the month
Lead Kindly Light
Prayer for the Light of Truth
Prayer for Canonisation

We are told in the preface to the unrevised eBook edition that:

“Thanks to the Catholic Truth Society this selection of prayers and meditations by John Henry Newman is, in time for his beatification, being made available in this new edition. These are the prayers that helped make Newman a saint. They certainly make his sanctity clear to us.”

We are also told:

“These prayers give us a unique entry into the prayer life of a saint, the words of his heart as he spoke to the Heart of God. They draw us, so to speak, into the conversation, and invite us to make the prayers our own. So while John Henry Newman’s heart speaks to God, his heart also speaks to ours.

In his life, John Henry Newman was a friend, teacher and priest to many people. And it is still so for us today. We recognise him as a friend, because his concerns are ours as well. We know him to be a teacher because he leads us always to a deeper knowledge of the truth. And we find him still to be a priest, through his prayer for us. In short, heart speaks to heart.

I hope that many will find a friend, a teacher and a priest in these words of the soon to be Blessed, John Henry Newman.”

These words by Father Richard Duffield, Provost of the Birmingham oratory set the tone and expectation for the volume. It is a wonderful little volume. I particularly enjoyed the prayers for each day of the month. 31 prayers that encompass a lot in the spiritual life. They will encourage, motivate, challenge and console. The novena was for his canonization but can still be used as a novena to the now canonized saint. 

I find that the more I read about and by Saint John henry Newman the more I appreciate him. His dedication to education, and his deep spiritual life. He was a voice of reason in a turbulent time. And his is a voice we should be harkening to today. I am thankful to have the eBook of this on my phone so it is always with me. Great prayers by a great man of God. 

It is another excellent volume in the canon of Newman works. And another great resource from the Catholic Truth Society.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

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

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