Below, is a prayer written by St. John Henry Newman that exemplifies the depth of his devotion to our Lord Jesus. A perfect prayer for this time of celebration at the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost as well as for Christians to use as part of their daily prayer.
Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly,
That my life may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me, and be so in me
That every soul I come in contact with
May feel Your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus!
Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine,
So to shine as to be a light to others;
The light, O Jesus will be all from You; none of it will be mine;
It will be you, shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise You the way You love best, by shining on those around me.
Let me preach You without preaching, not by words but by my example,
By the catching force of the sympathetic influence of what I do,
The evident fullness of the love my heart bears to You.
Amen. (St John Henry Newman 1801-1890)
Newman’s efforts for renewal in the Anglican Church led him to become Roman Catholic. His conversion contributed to the conversion of many Anglicans who read his works and admired his example. Today, Newman also serves as a guide for many, not only those who will eventually convert to the Roman Catholic Church, but to all who are seeking the Truth.
It was the passionate contemplation of truth which also led him to a liberating acceptance of the authority which has its roots in Christ, and to the sense of the supernatural which opens the human mind and heart to the full range of possibilities revealed in Christ. (Passion for Truth)
Pope John Paul II wrote to the Archbishop of Birmingham:
“Newman was born in troubled times which knew not only political and military upheaval but also turbulence of soul. Old certitudes were shaken, and believers were faced with the threat of rationalism on the one hand and fideism on the other. Rationalism brought with it a rejection of both authority and transcendence, while fideism turned from the challenges of history and the tasks of this world to a distorted dependence upon authority and the supernatural. In such a world, Newman came eventually to a remarkable synthesis of faith and reason which were for him “like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth” (Fides et ratio, Introduction; cf. ibid., n. 74). (Passion for Truth)
In 1991, Pope St John Paul II declared that John Henry Newman had lived all of the Christian virtues in a heroic degree and would be called by the title “Venerable”.
In 2001, John Sullivan, a 62-year-old Boston man, who had asked Venerable Newman for his intercession, was miraculously cured from lumbar disc disease that had produced severe pain and incapacity to walk. A study by physicians concluded that there was no medical explanation for the man’s instantaneous cure, and in 2009, the Holy See approved the cure as a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Newman.This miraculous cure opened the way for the Roman Catholic Church’s formal recognition of Newman’s sanctity. Like Pope Leo XIII’s elevation of Newman to the dignity of Cardinal this event has filled the English people with pride and joy. We expect that it will foster great interest in Newman’s life and works and hope that it will usher a new spring in the re-evangelization of the English-speaking world, and in particular of Great Britain.
In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI, a long time admirer of Newman, proclaimed him as one of the blessed (Saints) in Heaven during a visit to England.