Sunday Reflection – 27 May – The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Sunday Reflection – 27 May – The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Holy Communion
Bl John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

O my God, holiness becomes Your House and yet You dost made Your abode in my breast. My Lord, my Saviour, to me You come, hidden under the semblance of earthly things, yet in that very flesh and blood which You took from Mary. You, who did first inhabit Mary’s breast, come to me.

My God, You see me; I cannot see myself.   Were I ever so good a judge about myself, ever so unbiased and with ever so correct a rule of judging, still, from my very nature, I cannot look at myself and view myself truly and wholly.   But You, as You come to me, contemplates me.

When I say, Domine, non sum dignus—”Lord, I am not worthy”—You whom I am addressing, alone understands in their fullness the words which I use.   You see how unworthy so great a sinner is to receive the One Holy God, whom the Seraphim adore with trembling.   You see, not only the stains and scars of past sins but the mutilations, the deep cavities, the chronic disorders which they have left in my soul.   You see the innumerable living sins, though they be not mortal, living in their power and presence, their guilt and their penalties, which clothe me.   You see all my bad habits, all my mean principles, all wayward lawless thoughts, my multitude of infirmities and miseries, yet You come.   You see most perfectly how little I really feel what I am now saying, yet You come.

O my God, left to myself should I not perish under the awful splendour and the consuming fire of Your Majesty.   Enable me to bear You, lest I have to say with Peter, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”o my god, left to myself - bl john henry newman - 27 may 2018


Sunday Reflection – 25 February 2018 – Second Sunday of Lent, Year B

Sunday Reflection – 25 February 2018 – Second Sunday of Lent, Year B

Referring to the Emmaus event, Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) reminded his congregation:

“Only by faith is He known to be present;  He is not recognised by sight.   When He opened his disciples’ eyes, He at once vanished.   He removed his visible presence and left but a memorial of Himself.   He vanished from sight that He might be present in a sacrament;  and in order to connect His visible presence to His presence invisible, He for one instant manifested Himself to their open eyes;  manifested Himself, if I may so speak, while He passed from His hiding place of sight without knowledge, to that of knowledge without sight.”

What He left to the disciples in Emmaus is what He left to us:  His memorial and more than that:  His living presence spiritually in the Church and – through the Holy Spirit – in each of its members through baptism and His Real Presence, communion with Himself, the living God and man in the Blessed Eucharist and in the Christians who have just received Him in the Blessed Eucharist and adore Him in this Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.   Christ’s real presence is given to each communicant in a most personal and if accepted with a sincere and humble heart, transforming way.   With Newman’s own words:

“Christ then took on our nature, when He would redeem it;  He redeemed it by making it suffer in His own Person;  He purified it, by making it pure in His own Person.   He first sanctified it in Himself, made it righteous, made it acceptable to God, submitted it to an expiatory passion and then He imparted it to us.   He took it, consecrated it, broke it and said, “Take, and divide it among your-selves.”

Newman was convinced that no one “realises the mystery of the Incarnation but must feel disposed towards that of the Holy Communion.”   Both are mysteries of the coming of Christ, longed for as the hope of mankind for salvation.   If we accept that God unites Himself, His divinity and His spirit, to humanity, nature and matter in His birth as man, then we can also accept that He binds His presence to the species of bread and wine.   When Jesus says, “This is my body, this is my blood”, this remains a mystery but our faith in it is not against our reason.

Years later this Catholic priest wrote:

“O wisest love! That flesh and blood
Which did in Adam fail,
Should strive afresh against the foe,
Should strive and should prevail.”
“And that a higher gift than grace
Should flesh and blood refine,
God’s presence and His very Self,
And Essence all-divine.”christ then took on our nature - bl john henry newman - no 2 25 feb 2018 - sunday reflection