Thursday, April 2, 2009

Newman: His Life and Spirituality (2)

Louis Bouyer. New York: Meridian Books, Inc. 1960 (2)

10-second review: The biography of the man who left the Anglican Church to convert to Catholicism.

Sample Ideas:

“…recognition of God’s sovereignty over the ego.” p. 26. ………. “It is then the very constitution…of the Kingdom of Grace, that its children must all suffer. If they do not suffer here they will suffer the more hereafter, and they suffer little hereafter, in proportion as they suffer much here.” p. 339. ………. “It will take a community to lead us to God.” p. 73.

“A thousand difficulties do not make one doubt.” p. 72. ………. “True education consists in unlearning life’s poetry, and learning its prose.” p. xi. ………. “Superficial education substitutes appearance for reality: ‘To seem becomes to be.’ ”. p. xi. ………. “…it is beside the mark to enquire what useful purpose is served by culture, not because it serves none at all, but because it is its own reward. It does not form the specialist, it forms the man….” p. 310. ………. “It is the education which gives a man a clear, conscious view of his own opinions and judgments, a truth in developing them, an eloquence in expressing them, and a force in urging them. It teaches him to see things as they are, to go right to the point, to detect what is sophistical and to discard what is irrelevant.” p. 310.

“The presence of God, the all-seeing witness and sovereign actor in every circumstance of our daily lives.” p. 13. ………. “…Newman had made it sufficiently clear…that infallibility was in the nature of a providential safeguard. It was not a substitute for intellectual activity; what it did was to keep the Church from the danger of observing in the eyes of the world the Word which had been entrusted to her.” p. 368. ………. “…opposition on the part of the Bishops of the time to the idea which he cherished so dearly, to the idea…of forming an educated and enlightened laity.” p. 315. ………. “…Newman had upheld the idea that there was no disrespect to Episcopal authority in expressing the hope that the Bishops would take counsel with the laity before committing themselves to certain measures of great practical importance to the latter.” p. 330.

“…growth is the only evidence of life.” p. 26. ………. “…time is short and eternity is long.” p. 246. ………. “I had a great dislike of paper logic. Paper logic is but the record of it.” p. 233. ………. “They [the modern world] have no philosophy. Facts are the great things, and nothing else.” p. 264.

“God’s creation, Nature, is full of mysteries. so is Revelation.” p. 72. ………. “Never, in his own view, or in other peoples’, was there less of an orator…. Almost entirely without gesture, in a voice though clear as crystal, was entirely innocent of inflection, as one rapt in inward contemplation, a mood which he quickly communicated to his hearers….” p. 176. .......... “Nevertheless, from his own particular experience, he did deduce a general truth, and that was that for those who have the light, the best way to make it shine for others is themselves to be living witnesses to the truth….” p. 255.

Play written by Newman on the dynamics of conversion. It takes place in early Roman times: “Aquellius, who has long been a Christian, but whose early ardor has much abated, falls in love with a young Pagan, Callista. He is anxious to win her over to the Christian faith, but, little by little, it is borne in upon him that it is for his own sake that he is eager to convert her. There is but one way of bringing her to God and of finding his own way back to Him, and that is to renounce all hope of the human happiness which, for him, she represented.” p. 340.

Comment: Despite his great achievement in ideas and in Christianity, Newman spent most of his life feeling that he was a failure. RayS.

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