4 August 2010

Newman by Fr Michael Rear

There is little time within an Assistant Priests schedule for reading, it seems to me. Perhaps, one wonders, if I spent a little more time in prayer then I would have the time for uplifting spiritual reading as contained within Blessed John Henry Newman by Fr Michael Rear. Fr Michael presents a short but excellent biography of Newman. Clearly, in this fervent time of Newman-appreciation in which we are all gripped, it's good to take time and learn about the man who will be declared Blessed by the Pope in a few weeks time.

If you have time for only a brief introduction to the man, then Fr Michael's account comes very highly recommended. The blurb on the back of the book states:

Newman’s life spanned nearly the whole of the 19th century, spent almost equally in the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. Michael Rear begins by exploring Newman’s immense influence on the Anglican Church, and the events that led to him being denounced as a traitor’ and virtually expelled from that Church.

Only after four years of prayer and of his study of the development of doctrine, did Newman find his way clear to enter the Catholic Church. Founder of the Oratories, of a school, and a university in Ireland, his views on the laity, papal infallibility, education, and conscience led to misunderstanding, until, at the age of 78, he was made a Cardinal. A century later he was called an ‘unseen presence’ at the Second Vatican Council, and revered for his holiness.

His prediction of the secular society, in which Religion, ‘is a private luxury, which a man may have if he will; but which… he must not obtrude upon others, or indulge in to their annoyance’, has a very contemporary feel.

Treat yourself: though at £4.95 it's not great value for such a brief book. Mind you, better value than other's I've read! Buy it here.

A great pleasure to spend time with one holy priest on the feast of another. St John Marie Vianney: Pray for us. Soon-to-be Blessed John Henry Newman: Pray for us.


  1. As you may have seen me comment before, Samuel Johnson mainly 'dipped' into books, and he wrote the dictionary!! So, don't fret.With prayer ofcourse, we have to make the effort, regardless of feelings. Well, I do, because it keeps me sane....(ish).

    I find it takes a certaint type of energy to get into books deeply. When it arrives, I can't put a good book down.

    When it is lacking, I rely on quotes that I can look at quickly and say "Oh yeh, that's soooo true" whilst yawning.

    It's probably just my age, ignore me.

  2. How could one ever ignore you? No beautiful child of God should be ignored; and you're no exception!

  3. Well, I'm too loud not to be noticed, that's for sure haha! Thanks for the kind words Father.
    True Friend of the ticketless........



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