Tuesday, February 01, 2005

On February 1, 1852...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:
Present State of Our Oratory

1. INTROD.—This day, commencing with this evening, is a great day for our Congregation, for it is the anniversary of its establishment in England.

2. This day four years [ago in England], and again this day three, in Birmingham.

3. The Purification, though not the greatest feast, [is] a good day, suitable to those who are beginning a work in an heretical country.—

(1) It is a forlorn day in winter.
(2) Christmas gone, Lent coming.
(3) A little child and a poor mother coming to the Temple.
(4) Purification reminds us of necessity of purity of heart.

4. To me especially interesting, for it has been my great feast-day for thirty years. Thirty years this year since I was brought under the shadow of our Lady, whom I ever wished to love and honour more and more. And thus, when I became a Catholic, it was the day of the Congregation, etc.

5. God has blessed us through her intercession for three years in this place (Alcester St.). We have gradually prospered, year after year, and now a more definite establishment at Edgbaston.

6. Everything has come naturally, like a tree growing, and we hope it will still [grow].

7. About the Achilli matter. When it first arose, I said, 'The devil is here. Look not on prosecutor, lawyers, friends, etc. They are all weapons of the devil.' A NET—pulling strings close. Vide Psalter.

8. Therefore the remedy was prayer. What showed this more, was the extreme difficulty [of the case].

9. Eph. vi. 12, 'We wrestle,' etc.

10. Number of prayers offered.

11. The sequel has shown it—a great noise ending in nothing, so as to disappoint—first a roaring lion, then a serpent slinking away; so it is now. People will say, 'Oh, there was no great danger.'

12. If we fail, it will be because we do not pray enough.

13. Therefore commend ourselves to our Lady.


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