Tuesday, May 11, 2004

On May 11, 1851
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive. (This is one that I really wish had been written down !)
Oratory of Brothers— On the General Scope of the Institute

"1. INTROD.-Perhaps some of you do not know what it is we are offering you in this association.

2. In one word, which, vague as it is, still is true, we are meeting together to do something towards saving our souls.

3. Difficulty of saving the soul. St. Philip's saying that no one could be expected to get to heaven who had not feared hell. Scripture texts, 'narrow is the way,' etc.

4. Grace most abundant. Till the last day, we shall not know how much.

5. But there is a most unaccountable waywardness in man. It is needless to speculate on it. Every one feels it. He cannot steady, command, direct himself—inefficacious desires. He is beaten about here and there at the mercy of the waves. Sloth, cowardice, anger, fretfulness, sullenness, vanity, curiosity, concupiscence, ever lead him astray.

6. Hence all serious men look out for a rule of life to defend them against themselves.

7. This leads many into religion for assistance, for sympathy, for guidance.

8. The Oratorium Parvum is a slight bond of sympathy and of mutual assistance.

9. Hence it matters not what we do, or whether you have anything definite in it beyond this end, if you secure it. "

He was encouraging membership in the Oratorium Parvum- the Little, or Secular, Oratory. Hence my frustration over only having these sketchy notes !


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