Blessed John Henry Newman is a gem in modern Catholic thought. This collection of his short mediations on various topics is a similar gem in my library of spiritual works. Newman is one of the best at the art of the pithy statement and the wise phrase that sticks in your mind. These 50 meditations are a sufficient spiritual diet for a long time. They cover a wide variety of topics beginning with a reminder of the Christian vocation:
God has created me to do him some definite service; he has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission–I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for his purposes, as necessary in my place as an archangel in his–if, indeed, I fail, God can raise another, as he could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught.
This is one of my favorite passages in Newman’s writings. It’s a central theme in Newman’s writings as far as I can tell from my reading. That is, Newman takes a very personal view of our relationship with God. We are called, individually and uniquely, into a certain relationship with Him. We find ourselves in giving in to His work:
I shall do good. I shall do his work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, though not intending it, if I do but keep his commandments and serve him in my calling.
This kind of response is a theme that continues through the various meditations. Through his mediations on the Trinity, the Eucharist, the Holy Spirit, etc., Newman gives you something very personal to think about. These are very worthwhile meditations to supplement your spiritual reading or to use as a way to launch your spiritual journey.
I’ve always been a fan of Newman’s since I first began to read his letters in undergrad. This collection is a wonderful addition to your spiritual library.
I received a complimentary copy of the book for an honest review.