Trust the Church

A favorite quotation from Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman:

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Trust the Church of God implicitly, even when your natural judgment would take a different course from hers, and would induce you to question her prudence or her correctness. Recollect what a hard task she has; how she is sure to be criticized and spoken against, whatever she does; recollect how much she needs your loyal and tender devotion. Recollect, too, how long is the experience gained in eighteen hundred years, and what a right she has to claim your assent to principles which have had so extended and so triumphant a trial. Thank her that she has kept the faith safe for so many generations, and do your part in helping her to transmit it to generations after you.

– From The Idea of a University, 1852; emphasis added.

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5 Responses to Trust the Church

  1. hashtagcatholic says:

    What is interesting is that I had something similar rolling around in my head for a blog post of my own this morning. Thanks for this!

  2. I am nearing the end of Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s book “The Virtue Driven Life.” In it, he quotes Bl. John Henry Newman quite frequently. I would like to read more by Newman.

    Given the liturgical dynamics in the Church right now, a topic that comes to my mind now and then for discussion is reverence. I had known that Dietrich von Hildebrand had written on the subject, but I found in my search that who else has given us a sermon on the topic but Bl. John Henry Newman.

    http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/bible_books/?view=book_chapter&chapter=64741

    Fr. Groeschel writes that “Cardinal Newman, who had a great gift for friendship, was also very sensitive and got hurt easily.” With the grace of God, Newman was able to overcome these difficulties and become a great saint. I hope that his prayer will be that all of us can be open to such graces also.

    • What DvH has written on reverence is very good. In retrospect Newman might have seemed hypersensitive, but in context he also faced a great deal of constant opposition (bad church politics). There is a whole category near the bottom of this page that deals with the issue: http://www.newmanreader.org/controversies/index.html

      • I had no idea that so much deliberation has been undertaken toward the development of a clearer understanding of the character of the man who is Bl. John Newman. Maybe I should say that my quotation of Fr. Groeschel was not to communicate a position I’ve taken on such disagreements. Rather, it is only a reflection of the limited extent of my exposure to these matters.

        The only writing with which I am familiar by Dietrich von Hildebrand in which he discusses reverence is his article “The Case for the Latin Mass” published in the 1966 issue of ‘Triumph.’ If you happen to get a chance at some point and are able to provide another reference of his on the subject, this would be appreciated.

      • There is a chapter on reverence in his book “Fundamental Moral Attitudes”, accessible on the EWTN site via Google search.

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