Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy news!

Benedict XVI has announced that John Henry Newman will be beatified, most likely next spring! The well-known (some would say infamous) convert contributed an inestimable wisdom and humility to all human beings, and this will be a wonderful opportunity to study his thought, rejoice in his life, and ask him to be with us on our own sojurns. His words, in fact, fly under the masthead here on this very blog. (For more on the process of canonization and the Catholic Church's understanding of sainthood, click here.)

Here is his 1829 poem, "A Voice from Afar":

Weep not for me;—
Be blithe as wont, nor tinge with gloom
The stream of love that circles home,
Light hearts and free!
Joy in the gifts Heaven’s bounty lends;
Nor miss my face, dear friends!

I still am near;—
Watching the smiles I prized on earth,
Your converse mild, your blameless mirth;
Now too I hear
Of whisper’d sounds the tale complete,
Low prayers, and musings sweet. {41}

A sea before
The Throne is spread;—its pure still glass
Pictures all earth-scenes as they pass.
We, on its shore,
Share, in the bosom of our rest,
God's knowledge, and are blest.

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