John Henry Cardinal Newman has been brought one step closer to sainthood today, with his beatification in Birmingham England. Living through most of the 19th century, Cardinal Newman came to understand that "to know history is to cease being Protestant."
At peril to his job, his family and to friends who shunned him, he did just that. With the help of Passionist priest Blessed Dominic Barberi, Newman entered the Catholic faith in 1845.
A prodigious writer, Newman wrote many and varied treatises on his faith. I recall reading The Idea of a University, years ago, and hope to re-read it soon, as I remember nothing from the first go-round.
He knew religion to be more than a matter of opinion, and spent his life defending the tenets of his Catholic faith. Towards the end of his life he was made a cardinal by the pope in 1879. He took as his motto the words, "Cor ad Cor Loquitur" -- "heart speaks to heart."
In his own words:
"Mere Protestants have seldom any real perception of the doctrine of
God and man in one Person. They speak in a dreamy, shadowy way
of Christs divinity; but, when their meaning is sifted, you will find
them very slow to commit themselves to any statement sufficient
to express the Catholic dogma. . . the world allows that God is man,
the admission costs it little, for God is everywhere, and (as it may say)
is everything; but it shrinks from confessing that God is the Son of Mary."
We know she is. We, with Cardinal Newman have been given this gift.
For God so loved the world . . . .