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Saint John Henry Newman
Canonised by Pope Francis in Rome on the 13th October 2019

How St John Henry Newman’s teachings influenced me.

Father Pat

"May God support us all the day long, 'till the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done! Then, in His mercy, may He give us a safe lodging and a holy rest, and peace at the last."

Becoming still, is an art form in the midst of our busy lives, it takes a certain skill! It takes discipline to slow down and reflect but it is a much needed and welcome part of our strategy for life. The phrase “Count to ten!” has a great wisdom when it comes to tackling an issue head on. The older I get I come to see that to take a little time to reflect before jumping in will make life a whole lot easier!

The above prayer written by Saint John Henry Newman is his own version of counting to ten.

It is one that has a deep longing attached to it. It is written by a man who is composing the prayer in the midst of a busy life. What gives him comfort is the trust he has that God will provide the support that he needs as the busyness of life assails him but further, God is his lasting hope for peace when his busy life slows down.

Newman was a man who lived a full life indeed. Yet within his days he found time for prayer, for rest for contemplation, to stop and become still as the world raced on by. His prayer is used many times as a prayer when the night draws in and the rest of sleep is invited and also this prayer is often used at funerals as a commentary that the goal of life is rest and peace in the presence of God. It points to where our lives are heading at a frightening speed too!

It is good to be prepared, we know this from standing in front of people and talking with them in a class room or a church for me, without preparation we flounder or waffle, we are not as effective as we could be. This prayer of Newman anticipates a preparation on our part as we are living for life eternal.

I have come to accept that weakness is part of the human condition. Frailty too is a part of our make up. A maturing spiritual life is about not getting to worried about our weaknesses but learning to trust and use the gifts we have to best of our ability. I suppose it allows us to trust when we realise our imperfections. St. John Henry Newman pray for us.

Father Tom

St John Henry Newman has been a wonderful inspiration to priests working amid their parish communities. He was a great intellectual and scholar,but realised that our faith could not just be about the head but the heart. He realised this from his years as a parish priest working among the poor of inner city  Birmingham. He was impressed with the strong faith of the people even amid their difficult circumstances.They had a real love and need for God not just a comfortable intellectual faith . His famous phrase “Heart speaks to Heart” reminds us that God has a real love for us and we in turn should have that same real love for God. As priests we have the chance to see the deep love and faith that people have for God .We see the strength they are given from the Scriptures and the Sacraments and like John Henry Newman can see that people lift their hearts and minds to God each day.

St John Henry Newman Pray for us

God bless

Fr Tom

Father Pontius

The inspiration of the life of St. John Henry Newman

The Saint of our modern times has it all for us to be faithful followers of Christ. I cannot say all the good inspirations from the life of St. John Henry Newman, on my personally reflections, but the following are very important to mention.

His determination and critical decision made to follow the truth even if it was pointing to rejection and suffering. The example of our Lord Jesus.

His teaching that holiness of life means doing all duties of each day well where ever we find ourselves in this world. It calls for commitment in life.

His concern for the poor, as in the motto heart speaks to heart, care for every person as an image of God.

The teaching on Conscience, he is said to be a Doctor of conscience. All our moral and religious actions depend on good conscience.  Our world will be at peace if we developed and followed our right consciences.

In conclusion, I would say he is a great saint for our times and the generations to come.

Fr. Pontius Bandua