Newman: The Heart of Holiness looks at the model of holiness Newman offers us to us all, on the occasion of his canonisation, a moment the Church recognises officially that Newman offers a model of holiness that is relevant for the Universal Church.
Newman himself, in fact, said, ‘I have nothing of the saint about me’. The Church, however, has decided otherwise and in October this year Blessed John Henry Newman, poet, tractarian, academic, former Anglican, Catholic convert and Cardinal will be canonised by Pope Francis.
In this book, Roderick Strange brings his own lifetime of learning and studying of Newman together with newer material that has come to light since the beatification to offer a portrait of Newman’s interior life. That is, his intimacy with God and his understanding of Christ, which led him to rejoice in the gift of the Eucharist, and he explores how Newman’s interior life had its outworking in his pastoral ministry serving others.
This understanding of Newman’s spirituality and legacy, suggests the author, might offer us an apologia for our own times, one in which we realise the connection between the sacred and the secular, one in which our faith can sustain us through the inevitable troubles of life, and in which we can cultivate a perceptiveness peculiar to faith, a perceptiveness that helps us recognise the gifts of the Spirit we have received as people who ‘watch for Christ’.
This book, therefore, is an attempt to peel back the layers of Newman’s spirituality so as to explore respectfully the heart of his holiness.