Thursday, June 12, 2003

From "Waiting for Christ", Sermons Preached On Various Occasions
by Venerable John Henry Newman. C.O.

" This energetic, direct apprehension of an unseen Lord and Saviour has not been peculiar to Prophets and Apostles; it has been the habit of His Holy Church, and of her children, down to this day. Age passes after age, and she varies her discipline, and she adds to her devotions, and all with the one purpose of fixing her own and their gaze more fully upon the person of her unseen Lord. She has adoringly surveyed Him, feature by feature, and has paid a separate homage to Him in every one. She has made us honour His Five Wounds, His Precious Blood, and His Sacred Heart. She has bid us meditate on His infancy, and the Acts of His ministry; His agony, His scourging, and His crucifixion. She has sent us on pilgrimage to His birthplace and His sepulchre, and the mount of His ascension. She has sought out, and placed before us, the memorials of His life and death; His crib and holy house, His holy tunic, the handkerchief of St. Veronica, the cross and its nails, His winding sheet, and the napkin for His head.

And so, again, if the Church has exalted Mary or Joseph, it has been with a view to the glory of His sacred humanity. If Mary is proclaimed as immaculate, it illustrates the doctrine of her Maternity. If she is called the Mother of God, it is to remind us that, though He is out of sight, He, nevertheless, is our possession, for He is of the race of man. If she is painted with Him in her arms, it is because we will not suffer the Object of our love to cease to be human, because He is also divine. If she is the Mater Dolorosa, it is because she stands by His cross. If she is Maria Desolata, it is because His dead body is on her lap. If, again, she is the Coronata, the crown is set upon her head by His dear hand. And, in like manner, if we are devout to Joseph, it is as to His foster-father; and if he is the saint of happy death, it is because he dies in the hands of Jesus and Mary. "


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