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Thoughts Along the Way

Fr. Matthew O'Leary's Weekly Bulletin Column

October 15, 2017

Spiritual Wisdom of Blessed John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman was one of the great intellects and spiritual giants of the English speaking world.  Born in London in 1801, Newman was for over twenty years an Anglican clergyman and Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. His studies of the early Church led him progressively towards Catholicism, which he embraced in 1845. 

In 1847 Newman was ordained a Roman Catholic priest and went on to found the Oratory of St Philip Neri in Birmingham, England. He was a prolific and influential writer on many subjects, and was created a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879. Newman was praised for his humility, unstinting care of souls and contributions to the intellectual life of the Church.  He died in Birmingham in 1890, and was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

Here follow some of Newman’s spiritual pearls of wisdom, which are nothing less than proverbs from his own pen.

—Fr. Matthew O’Leary, Pastor

“To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.”

“Learn to do thy part and leave the rest to Heaven.”

“Life passes, riches fly away, popularity is fickle, the senses decay, the world changes. One alone is true to us; One alone can be all things to us; One alone can supply our need.”

“We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe.”

“Knowledge is one thing, virtue is another.”

“We should ever conduct ourselves towards our enemy as if he were one day to be our friend.”

“Growth is the only evidence of life.”

“If we are intended for great ends, we are called to great hazards.”

“Without self-knowledge you have no root in yourselves personally; you may endure for a time, but under affliction or persecution your faith will not last.”

“Prayer is to the spiritual life what the beating of the pulse and the drawing of the breath are to the life of the body.”





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Fr. Matthew began publishing columns for this website in February 2015
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