Faber and Newman LRP

A Lenten Reading Plan

Read selections from the writings of the great Father Faber and Cardinal Newman each day until Easter.

Lent is a time of personal conversion and greater participation in the life of the Church.  By reading the writings of the great spiritual authors, we can find the inspiration and example we need to follow Christ more closely each day in the particularity of our own lives.

This reading plan goes through Father Faber’s reflections on the virtue of kindness, Cardinal Newman’s reflections on Christian hope and the Redemption, a beautiful ancient meditation on Holy Saturday, and finally, one of Cardinal Newman’s meditations on the Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

The readings are all contained in this Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file (click to download).

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(biography excerpted from http://www.bromptonoratory.com/history/page5.html)

Father Faber (1814-1863) was the founder, under [John Henry] Newman, of the London Oratory. Faber and a small group of Newman’s disciples came from Birmingham to London in 1849.

Faber the preacher, Faber the hymn-writer, Faber the spiritual author, must all give way to Faber the founder and first Provost of the London Oratory. Father Faber became an influential figure in the London of his day. His enthusiastic and, some might say, faintly flamboyant personality might lend itself to unsympathetic treatment by those who do not understand him, and by those who do not read his books. In the words of his early biographer, Fr. John Bowden, Faber’s life was “from first to last religious”. His character was not something fixed or static. His letters display a growing maturity of outlook. In this he may be fairly said to exemplify the wise insight of Newman himself who said that to be human is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often. Faber described Newman as “the greatest scholar since St. Augustine” and referred to Newman as the one “who taught me all the good I know”.

Faber’s early religious training may have had a Calvinistic bias, but all his Catholicism was drawn from Italian sources. He felt naturally at home with the Italian temperament, and might perhaps have lived happily in Italy were it not for his burning zeal to save souls in England.

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(biography from http://www.newmancause.co.uk/)

John Henry Newman was born in London on 21 February 1801, and died in Birmingham on 11 August 1890.

As Vicar of St Mary’s Oxford he exerted a profound spiritual influence on the Church of England. After joining the Catholic Church in 1845, he brought the Oratory of St. Philip Neri to England, was the first Rector of the Catholic University in Dublin, and was made Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879.

Through his extensive published writings and private correspondence he created a greater understanding of the Catholic Church and its teachings, helping many persons with their religious difficulties. At his death he was praised for his unworldliness, humility, and prayerful contact with the invisible world.

He was declared Venerable on 22 January 1991.  He was beatified on 19 September 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI in England.

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