Sunday, 26 September 2010

Cardinal John Henry Newman

In every generation , there have been men and women who stood out as icons and trail blazers; worthy of emulation of their generation and future ones.
Courage , integrity and faith are common traits possessed by such remarkable people .
Cardinal John Henry Newman( 1801-1890) was such a man.
Notable for his excellent service to his community ; Newman won the hearts of many .
“Heart Speaks To Heart ” was Newman ‘s life –long motto and was written on the banner which draped Newman’s coffin .
Thousands of the poor and the needy in his community , mourned Newman’s passing away and they testified to his invaluable service to them during his life time .

Also, in his time, Cardinal Newman stood for his beliefs and convictions , even in the face of stiff oppositions to his decision to restrict the attempts of the State to control the Church.
He was that outstanding clergyman who refused to be “pocketed” ; firmly he drew the line between the demands of State and Faith.
In his day and age in England ; a Church of England minister of his stature converting from Anglicanism to Catholicism , would be courting a load of trouble!
Newman , literally stirred the hornets’ nest by saying “No!” to the Throne and the Church !
It was and is no mean feat to look any earthly powerful establishment in the face and to say “No!” to them ; even at the risk of imprisonment and or death!

The worth of a person is evident , not by what he says and does in every day normal situations only ; but by his or her words and actions when push comes to shove!
Many men and women with laudable objectives but without faith and integrity, have been known to chicken out and compromise their beliefs in the face of threats to life , position and property!
Cardinal John Henry Newman was not in the mould of men who waver in faith.
Great exploits are done by men who know their God.
“The righteous are bold as a lion”. Proverbs 28:1.
Cardinal Newman was emboldened by his fervent Faith and conviction that he was doing the right thing ;and I believe he , also , was made of sterner stuff than the average Christian of his time. He possessed that “extra factor “ which makes someone a star among peers.
That “extra factor” of boldness and integrity to stand firm for one’s beliefs was the driving force that made Cardinal give excellent service to his God and to his generation .
Cardinal Newman’s life and works are, indeed , worthy of study and emulation ;as a remarkable Christian and soldier of the Gospel.
May God raise up more men of faith , courage and integrity in this day and age .

Pope Benedict XIV chose to base the theme and programme of his memorable September 2010 visit to the United Kingdom on Newman ‘s expressions of Faith .
Tagged as “Heart Speaks to Heart “; this Papal mission could be linked to the admiration and respect which this Pope has for the ideals which Cardinal Newman stood for .
I sense that for Pope Benedict XV1 , the Beatification of Cardinal Newman was not just another official duty ; neither was this the main reason for his coming to the UK .
This Pontiff has found a worthy role model in Cardinal Newman .
Pope Benedict’s personal and ministry vision is the re-evangelisation of Europe .
Where else to begin this vision than in the United Kingdom , the cradle of world famous Christian Apostles and Evangelists in centuries past?

“Heart Speaking to Heart” ,the Pope’s visit , is a response to a call to the battle for souls.
A mission based on this Pontiff ‘s listening to the words from a Cardinal’s heart on fire with apostolic zeal; speaking from ages past , to all hearts in this generation and future generation.
Upon Newman’s principles , the Vatican has chosen to build the foundation of his mission of reconciliation and reconstruction of the Church’s relationships with world of today .
This Pope and the Vatican came with the fervour of evangelism born of the need to express the type of courage and doggedness which drove Cardinal Newman in his ministry as a scholar and a fiery apostle of faith.
Just as Christian missionaries of ages past , not minding the dangers that awaited them; left the shores of this great nation , the UK; to carry the glorious light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all continents of the Earth ; so will God continue to raise men and women , similar to Cardinal Newman; to repair and restore the broken walls and lives in the United Kingdom. Amen.
The Church , in this perilous End Time , is in dire need of such men and women.

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