Monday, November 18, 2019

S. John Henry Newman's MEDITATIONS AND DEVOTIONS

From the National Institute for Newman Studies (USA) website, this is a collection of prayers and reflections originally put together for students at the Oratory School in Birmingham. It was compiled and first published by Fr William Neville in 1893, three years after Newman’s death. It is a witness to Newman’s simple, confident and humble faith, and includes his devotion to Our Lady, to his patron saint Philip Neri and to the Stations of the Cross, meditation before the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary. From the “Meditations on Christian Doctrine” comes this well-known passage:

God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission – I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his – if, indeed, I fail, He can raise another, as He could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connexion between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling. Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me – still He knows what He is about. 


Part I
Page

Meditations on the Litany of Loreto, for the Month of May

Introductory

1. May the Month of Promise     3

2. May the Month of Joy     5
I. The Immaculate Conception       

1. Virgo Purissima (The Most Pure Virgin)     8

2. Virgo Prædicanda (The Virgin who is to be proclaimed)   10

3. Mater Admirabilis (The Wonderful Mother)   13

4. Domus Aurea (The House of Gold)   15

5. Mater Amabilis (The Lovable or Dear Mother)   17

5. Rosa Mystica (The Mystical Rose) [Duplicate]   20

6. Virgo Veneranda (The All-Worshipful Virgin)   23

7. Sancta Maria (The Holy Mary)   26
II. The Annunciation [file 2]

1. Regina Angelorum (The Queen of Angels)   29

2. Speculum Justiciæ (The Mirror of Justice)   31

3. Sedes Sapientiæ (The Seat of Wisdom)   33

4. Janua Coeli (The Gate of Heaven)   36

5. Mater Creatoris (The Mother of the Creator)   39

6. Mater Christi (The Mother of Christ)   42

7. Mater Salvatoris (The Mother of the Saviour)   45
III. Our Lady's Dolours

1. Regina Martyrum (The Queen of Martyrs)   48

2. Vas Insigne Devotionis (The Most Devout Virgin)   50

3. Vas Honorabile (The Vessel of Honour)   52

4. Vas Spirituale (The Spiritual Vessel)   54

5. Consolatrix Afflictorum (The Consoler of the Afflicted)   56

6. Virgo Prudentissima (The Most Prudent Virgin)   58

7. Turris Eburnea (The Ivory Tower)   60
IV. The Assumption [file 3]

1. Sancta Dei Genitrix (The Holy Mother of God)   62

2. Mater Intemerata (The Sinless Mother)   64

3. Rosa Mystica (The Mystical Rose)   66

4. Turris Davidica (The Tower of David)   68

5. Virgo Potens (The Powerful Virgin)   70

6. Auxilium Christianorum (The Help of Christians)   72

7. Virgo Fidelis (The Most Faithful Virgin)   74

8. Stella Matutina (The Morning Star)   76

Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception   79

Novena of St. Philip [file 4]   89

Litany of St. Philip (English) 117

Litany of St. Philip (Latin) 122



Part II


Meditations on the Stations of the Cross [file 5] 129

Short Meditations on the Stations of the Cross 155

Twelve Meditations and Intercessions for Good Friday,
with Prayers for the Faithful Departed
 [file 6]


1. Jesus the Lamb of God 173

2. Jesus the Son of David 176

3. Jesus the Lord of Grace 179

4. Jesus the Author and Finisher of Faith 182

5. Jesus the Lord of Armies 185

6. Jesus the Only Begotten Son 188

7. Jesus the Eternal King 190

8. Jesus the Beginning of the New Creation 193

9. Jesus the Lover of Souls 196

10. Jesus our Guide and Guardian 198

11. Jesus Son of Mary 200

12. Jesus our Daily Sacrifice 203

Prayer for the Faithful Departed 205

Meditations for Eight Days [file 7] 207

Litanies:

   Litany of Penance 227

   Litany of the Passion 230

   Litany of the Seven Dolours 234

   Litany of the Resurrection 238

   Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary 241

   Litany of the Holy Name of Mary 244

   Litany of St. Philip (English) [file 8] 247

   Litany of St. Philip (Latin) 252

"Anima Christi" (Translated) 255

The Heart of Mary 257

A Short Service for Rosary Sunday 259

Ave Maris Stella 263

A Triduo to St. Joseph 267

Four Prayers to St. Philip 273

A Short Road to Perfection 283

Prayer for the Light of Truth 287

Prayer for a Happy Death 289



Part III


Meditations on Christian Doctrine [file 9]

A Short Visit to the Blessed Sacrament before Meditation 293
I.Hope in God—Creator 299
II.Hope in God—Redeemer

1. The Mental Sufferings of Our Lord 304

2. Our Lord Refuses Sympathy 309

3. The Bodily Sufferings of Our Lord 321

4. It is Consummated 325
III. God and the Soul:

1. God the Blessedness of the Soul 327

2. Jesus Christ yesterday and today, and the same for ever 329

3. An Act of Love 331
IV. Sin[file 10]

1. Against Thee only have I sinned 333

2. Against Thee only have I sinned 335

3. The Effects of Sin 337

4. The Evil of Sin 339

5. The Heinousness of Sin 340

6. The Bondage of Sin 342

7. Every Sin has its Punishment 344
V. The Power of the Cross 347
VI. The Resurrection:

1. The Temples of the Holy Ghost 350

2. God Alone 353

3. The Forbearance of Jesus 355
VII. God with Us:

1. The Familiarity of Jesus 358

2. Jesus the Hidden God 361

3. Jesus the Light of the Soul 363
VIII. God All-Sufficient 366
IX.God Alone Unchangeable [file 11] 369
X.God is Love 372
XI.The Sanctity of God 375
XII.The Forty Days' Teaching:

1. The Kingdom of God 378

2. Resignation to God's Will 380

3. Our Lord's Parting with His Apostles 382

4. God's Ways not our Ways 384
XIII. The Ascension:

1. He ascended 387

2. He ascended into Heaven 389

3. Our Advocate above 391

4. Our Advocate above 393
XIV. The Paraclete:

1. The Paraclete, the Life of All Things 396

2. The Paraclete, the Life of the Church 398

3. The Paraclete, the Life of my Soul 400

4. The Paraclete, the Fount of Love 402
XV.The Holy Sacrifice:

1. The Mass 405

2. Holy Communion 407

3. The Food of the Soul 409
XVI. The Sacred Heart [file 12] 412
XVII. The Infinite Perfection of God 414
XVIII. The Infinite Knowledge of God 417
XIX. The Providence of God 420
XX. God is All in All 423
XXI. God the Incommunicable Perfection 426
XXII. God Communicated to Us 429
XXIII. God the Sole Stay for Eternity 432

Conclusion 435

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Mass, the Communion of Saints, and a Benhilton Parishioner



(Click to enlarge)

This picture of the Mass being celebrated is very much of its time. It was painted by former All Saints’ Benhilton parishioner Thomas Noyes Lewis (1862-1946), at the heart of whose work is the sense of the veil being lifted in the Eucharist so that we might “see” what is really going on ... that is, that we are not IMITATING here on earth the worship we imagine to be going on in heaven, but that we are actually JOINED TO IT by the power of the Holy Spirit and the mystery of the outward and visible signs appointed by the Lord himself. 

Well do I remember having acquired in my early teens Through the Veil: Communion Book, published in 1930 by The Faith Press. As the title suggests, its purpose was to help Anglo-Catholic laypeople of that era (and down to the 1960s!) grasp more fully within the Communion of Saints our participation in the heavenly worship. The Mass book was, of course, in Cranmerian language, and sumptuously illustrated by Noyes Lewis, whose well-known painting The Place of Meeting, published as a print shortly after World War I, had a very wide circulation throughout the Anglo-Catholic world. (I’ve seen it in sacristies, vestries, vicarages, and even diocesan offices the world over!) In fact, as an artist, Noyes Lewis was most noted for work on religious - particularly Catholic - themes. He produced a great many illustrations for Sunday School albums. He worked with The Faith Press for many years until about 1932 producing several series of picture cards, including the Scout Promise. He then created The Gospel Stamps for The Plaistow Press. A set of his Stations of the Cross is at St Giles’ Church, Matlock (go HERE). 

As we at All Saints’ Benhilton keep our Patronal Festival today, it is appropriate to acknowledge the contribution of Thomas Noyes Lewis in helping so many Anglicans around the world embrace a truly Catholic understanding of the Mass. 

An original painting of his - a Madonna and Child - hangs in our choir vestry in memory of his wife who predeceased him. Father Marcus Donovan, Vicar from 1945 to 1961, in his History of the Church and Parish of All Saints’ Benhilton, writes of the period just before World War I: 

“Gradually the church was being adorned. A frontal for the High Altar was designed by the well-known artist, Mr. Noyes Lewis, and embroidered by the indefatigable Miss Ridout ... Mr. Noyes Lewis was for many years a worshipper at Benhilton and used to serve at the altar. He died in 1946; the last communication we had from him was in that year, when he presented the church with the Stations of the Cross which he had designed.”

Here is the Elevation of the Host by Noyes Lewis, from Through the Veil: Communion Book:


(Click to enlarge)