So prodigious was Cardinal Newman's output that only a few souls have read all he wrote.
Yet so keen was his intellect -- and so profound his love for our Lord -- that even those who've read just a few pages have profited greatly, growing quickly in knowledge, understanding, and renewed faith in God.
Now comes Dave Armstrong, himself drawn forth from Protestantism by the power of Cardinal Newman's words. Eager to share Newman s wisdom with others, Armstrong has mined from over forty of Cardinal Newman's works to produce substantive passages on more than 100 topics ranging from Angels, Absolution, and the Bible, through Confession, the Eucharist, Infallibility, and the Inquisition, and reaching all the way to the Sacraments, the Saints, Transubstantiation, and the Trinity.
Armstrong selected these particular passages for their beauty, to be sure, but even more for the clarity and persuasiveness with which they present and defend so many key theological positions of our Catholic Church.
Whether you are a catechist, an apologist, a Catholic layman, or just a searcher after truth, you will find in these hundreds of passages a lucid consideration of most any Catholic teaching of serious concern to you.
Indeed, this book covers so many topics that it actually constitutes a complete education in the doctrines of the Catholic Faith.
In this more modest work, his Everyday Meditations, we encounter not Newman the intellectual but Newman the simple Christian, on his knees face-to-face with God. Confident that the Church teaches us rightly but knowing as well that each of us must walk closely with God — hearing His voice not only through the Church but in the depths of our own hearts — Newman here shows us how to look to Jesus and declare:
I need you to teach me day by day, according to each day's opportunities and needs. Teach me . . . to sit at your feet and to hear your word. Give me that true wisdom which seeks your will by prayer and meditation. . . . Give me the discernment to know your voice from the voice of strangers, to rest upon it, and to seek it in the first place.
This was Newman's greatest desire. It awakened in him ceaseless prayer, countless good works, a profound love of the sacraments, and the habit of daily meditation which strengthened his will, deepened his understanding, and enkindled in him an ever greater love of God. For those qualities, Pope Benedict XVI recently proclaimed Newman "Blessed," just one step from declaring him a saint.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that ongoing growth in sanctity is "an uninterrupted task for the whole Church." If in recent times yours has been interrupted (or merely slowed down), let it begin anew with this modest book.
To help you discern God's voice daily, rest in it, and respond to it according to each day's opportunities and needs, we have here gathered fifty of Newman's most moving Christian meditations, each guaranteed to enkindle in your soul the very same kind of love they enkindled in his. As they nurtured Newman's daily acts of conversion and finally made him worthy of the title "Blessed," so will they call you to daily acts of conversion and finally lead you, as they led Newman, "to bow down in awe before the depths of God's love."