Thursday 15 December 2022

Daily Christian Living with John Henry Newman - CTS Books

Daily Christian Living with John Henry Newman
John Henry Newman
Catholic Truth Society
CTS Booklet SP28

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 209. We are informed at the end of the volume that:

“This collection of sayings, meditations and prayers has been drawn from a larger work first published by the CTS in 1987. Guides Holiness, John Henry Newman, edited by Joyce Sugg.”

Many of the CTS books by and about Newman are back in print in new editions. But this one is still out of print.

The description of the book is:

“Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) was an outstanding thinker and writer of his time. His well documented personal and spiritual journey gave rise to a very practical, clean and profound spiritual approach to the things of every day. This booklet offers ordinary people the opportunity to taste, possibly for the first time, the lucid and often very simple diagnoses and remedies that Newman applied to the countless aspects of our human existence: money, children, conscience, service, suffering, old age, learning, change, living out our faith. These brief and easy to grasp extracts not only introduce the reader to Newman himself, but to a fresh and enduring voice of common sense and good faith in the love of God.”

The chapters in the book are:

Our Christian Vocation 
Be Faithful in Little Things 
Living in the World 
Developing my Faith 
Living as a True Witness 
True Christian Wisdom 
An Ethical Character 
Hymns and Prayer 

I highlighted many passages my first time through this volume. Some of them are:

“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 never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.”

“Be sure that many others besides you feel that sadness, that years pass away and no opening comes to them for serving God ... One must submit oneself to God's loving will - and he quieted by faith that what he wills for us is best. He has no need of us - he only asks for our good desires.”

“We cannot have everything in this world but we can have the greatest of all, God's presence, God's guidance, May you have it abundantly, wherever you are, and you will, but you must leave yourself in his hands who loves you.”

“It is the saying of holy men that, if we wish to be perfect, we have nothing more to do than to perform the ordinary duties of the day well.”

“I would not have you go to any mortifications. I will tell you what the greatest mortification is: to do well the ordinary duties or the day. Determine to rise at a certain hour - to go through certain devotions ... Don’t oppress yourself with them, but keep to your rules - and you will find it a sufficient trial.”

“I say that a cultivated intellect, because it is a good in itself, brings with it a power and a grace to every work and occupation which it undertakes, and enables us to be more useful, and to a greater number. There is a duty we owe to human society as such, to the state to which we belong, to the sphere in which we move.”

“I want an intelligent, well-instructed laity. I wish you to enlarge your knowledge, to cultivate your reason, to understand how faith and reason stand to each other, what are the bases and principles of Catholicism.”

The Collection of Prayers and Hymns at the end of the book are:

Praise to the holiest in the height
Anima Christi
Lead kindly light
The last things
Raised from the dead

The notes section at the end provides us with the 87 quotes contained in this little volume. 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 tracked down a copy of this volume. I wish it and the longer volume this is taken from we both in print and available as eBooks. It is another excellent volume in the canon of Newman works, and also another great resource from the Catholic Truth Society.

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