John Henry Newman painted by Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt. (died 1896)
It has been such a pleasure to watch some of the coverage of the Pope's visit to England and Scotland. It has been a real joy to see Catholics in the UK get such a shot in the arm. I know by experience from when Pope John Paul II visited the US here in Detroit, and when Pope Benedict XVI came to the US what it did. The UK will see an increase in vocations, as well as people in the pews, and still others more willing to cross the Tiber. It seems to happen wherever the Holy Father visits despite the protests, the errant viewpoints coming from the media, and the attempts at downplaying how many will attend events, the faith strengthens and grows.
During his homily at Mass this morning, Pope Benedict XVI quoted Cardinal Newman using some words very relevant for us today. The faith is something we must spread by informing ourselves well, and by good example. This is Newman's way of telling Catholics not to be a clanging cymbal or a noisy gong (1 Cor 13).
"I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it" (The Present Position of Catholics in England, ix, 390).
Here is the entire homily.
The Holy Father now heads to the Birmingam Oratory for a private visit.
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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!
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