Collect: John Henry Newman Priest and Theologian, 1890 (Feb 16)

Scripture, tradition, and reason in one man’s life. What can we learn?

 

Cardinal John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman was among the founders of the Oxford Movement and a prolific tractarian, having authored two dozen of the Tracts of the Times, the series of pamphlets setting forth the tenets of the movement. Most notably, Newman is remembered as the author of Tract 90, in which he sought to reconcile the teaching of Roman Catholicism with the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England.

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Collect for the Commemoration

God of all wisdom, we thank you for John Henry Newman, whose eloquence bore witness that your Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, and who made his own life a pilgrimage towards your truth. Grant that, inspired by his words and example, we may ever follow your kindly light till we rest in your bosom, with your dear Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, where heart speaks to heart eternally; for you live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Are you ready to seek out the “kindly light” radiating from the God of all wisdom? Has this light shone in your darkness already? May you find joy and wonder as you experience God’s kindly light this day. May you experience heart speaking to heart now, and eternally. ~Fr. Dan

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

 

That we may know your presence

Grant, O God, that in all time of our testing we may know your presence and obey your will; that, following the example of your servant Edward Bouverie Pusey, we may with integrity and courage accomplish what you give us to do, and endure what you give us to bear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect for the Commemoration of Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest 1882 in Holy Women, Holy Men)

The Collect is a prayer regularly used in our worship. Its form was settled early in our history. After addressing God (and often acknowledging, even praising, divine attributes that thrill, or comfort, or challenge us) we ask God to meet our needs with grace for the moment, and grace for the future. Often we ask for this grace so that we may accomplish God’s will “on earth as in heaven.” We make this prayer, always, “through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Every year on September 18 we remember Edward Bouverie Pusey, a priest, an educator, and a leader of church reform in 19th century England (with John Keble and John Henry Newman). From the Collect for this day, a Collect prayed for “the Church” (that is. for you and me and all members of the Church), consider what is asked for you/us and open your eyes to see how this prayer is being answered in you, in the Church, in our world.

Hear what the Spirit is saying, as you listen to what we ask (and what we say about ourselves and our God) in the Collect we pray as we commemorate Edward Bouverie Pusey:

  • “in all time of our testing” — we who know and love and seek to follow Jesus understand that we will be tested in body and mind and spirit; we do not shrink from these tests, these trials;
  • AND we ask that God grant sufficient grace in order that “we may know your presence and obey your will,” — to feel the presence of God even in the midst of great trials and tests is a true joy (I speak from experience, I have been there, I have encountered God in the midst of darkness and the threat of destruction and found both peace and joy in that encounter)
  • AND we ask this grace for a purpose; we ask so that
    • “following the example of your servant Edward Bouverie Pusey”— we are connected to all those who have gone before us and who have lived, like Edward, through challenges, trials, and “tests” giving us confidence that we, too, can find our way;
    • “we may with integrity and courage accomplish what you give us to do,” — following the example of those who have gone before puts “flesh” on concepts like integrity and courage and gives us hope that we may accomplish the work we have been given to do in the Reign of God (and yes, we believe that God has indeed given us work to do);
    • “and, endure what you give us to bear” — again, knowing that Edward was able to endure with integrity and courage in his day, gives us the audacity to ask God to grant us grace, in our day, to “endure” even when we would like to give up.

What are your thoughts as you listen to this prayer? What are your experiences, your hopes, your beliefs, given voice in this prayer? Please continue the conversation in the Comment section. Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.