Friday, August 26, 2022

Preview: St. J.H. Newman on Mary as the Second Eve in his Letter to Pusey

In our concluding discussion on Saint John Henry Newman and the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Son Rise Morning Show this month, on Monday, August 29, we'll look at one of his controversial works, A Letter Addressed to the Rev. E.B. Pusey, D.D., on Occasion of His Eirenicon

I'll be on the air at my usual time, about 6:50 a.m. Central/7:50 a.m. Eastern. Please listen live here or on your local EWTN affiliate station.

In Newman's collected works, this Letter is accompanied by his 1875 Letter to the Duke of Norfolk regarding Papal Infallibility as Volume 2 of Certain Difficulties Felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching

In this work, Newman responds to Pusey's comments about the recently proclaimed doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and what that proclamation might mean for the issues of Anglican and Catholic unity. Remember that Newman had been challenged by Charles Kingsley just two years before on his integrity and truthfulness about his conversion, writing his Apologia pro Vita Sua in response. He and his old Oxford Movement colleagues, John Keble and Edward Pusey had met again after almost 20 years of tension and distance.

As I've commented in a couple of previous posts (here and here), I'd never read this work through before. While it's like a mini-Apologia pro Vita Sua, Newman seems very comfortable responding to Pusey directly, although he fears that he might wound his friend as his friend has wounded him. He bases his arguments against Pusey's work on their shared study of the Fathers of the Church. Pusey knows that the Fathers of the Church described the Blessed Virgin Mary as being the Second Eve, and thus he can and should follow Newman's argument carefully.

In fact, in the fifth chapter of this public correspondence with Pusey ("Anglican Misconceptions and Catholic Excesses in Devotion to the Blessed Virgin"), Newman remonstrates with his old friend that he hasn't been as forthcoming as he could be regarding his own knowledge of and devotion to the Mother of God:

. . . that the height of our offending in our devotion to the Blessed Virgin would not look so great in your Volume as it does, had you not deliberately placed yourself on lower ground than your own feelings towards her would have spontaneously prompted you to take. I have no doubt you had some good reason for {90} adopting this course, but I do not know it; what I do know is, that, for the Fathers' sake who so exalt her, you really do love and venerate her, though you do not evidence it in your book. I am glad then in this place to insist on a fact which will lead those among us, who know you not, to love you from their love of her, in spite of what you refuse to give her; and lead Anglicans, on the other hand, who do know you, to think better of us, who refuse her nothing, when they reflect that, if you come short of us, you do not actually go against us in your devotion to her.

2. As you revere the Fathers, so you revere the Greek Church; and here again we have a witness on our behalf, of which you must be aware as fully as we are, and of which you must really mean to give us the benefit. In proportion as the Greek ritual is known to the religious public, that knowledge will take off the edge of the surprise of Anglicans at the sight of our devotions to our Lady. It must weigh with them, when they discover that we can enlist on our side in this controversy those "seventy millions" (I think they do so consider them) of Orientals, who are separated from our communion.

Pusey already knew the answer to Newman's question in chapter 3 ("The Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin, as distinct from their Devotion to her"), "What is the great rudimental teaching of Antiquity from its earliest date concerning her?": that Mary is the Second Eve:

Now let us consider what this implies. Eve had a definite, essential position in the First Covenant. The fate of the human race lay with Adam; he it was who represented us. It was in Adam that we fell; though Eve had fallen, still, if Adam had stood, we should not have lost those supernatural privileges which were bestowed upon him as our first father. Yet though Eve was not the head of the race, still, even as regards the race, she had a place of her own; for Adam, to whom was divinely committed the naming of all things, named her "the Mother of all the living," a name surely expressive, not of a fact only, but of a dignity; but further, as she thus had her own general relation to the human race, so again had she her own special {32} place, as regards its trial and its fall in Adam. In those primeval events, Eve had an integral share. . . . As the history stands, she was a sine-qua-non, a positive, active, cause of it. And she had her share in its punishment; in the sentence pronounced on her, she was recognized as a real agent in the temptation and its issue, and she suffered accordingly. In that awful transaction there were three parties concerned,—the serpent, the woman, and the man; and at the time of their sentence, an event was announced for a distant future, in which the three same parties were to meet again, the serpent, the woman, and the man; but it was to be a second Adam and a second Eve, and the new Eve was to be the mother of the new Adam. "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed." The Seed of the woman is the Word Incarnate, and the Woman, whose seed or son He is, is His mother Mary. This interpretation, and the parallelism it involves, seem to me undeniable; but at all events (and this is my point) the parallelism is the doctrine of the Fathers, from the earliest times; and, this being established, we are able, by the position and office of Eve in our fall, to determine the position and office of Mary in our restoration.

Then Newman provides many excerpts from the works of the Fathers of the Church on this doctrine, commenting summarily:

Such is the rudimental view, as I have called it, which the Fathers have given us of Mary, as the Second Eve, the Mother of the living: I have cited ten authors. I could cite more, were it necessary: except the two last, they write gravely and without any rhetoric. . . .

He then outlines Mary's role in our Redemption, in a parallel contrast to Eve's role in our Fall: 

She holds, as the Fathers teach us, that office in our restoration which Eve held in our fall:—now, in the first place, what were Eve's endowments to enable her to enter upon her trial? She could not have stood against the wiles of the devil, though she was innocent and sinless, without the grant of a large grace. And this she had;—a heavenly gift, which was over and above and additional to that nature of hers, which she received from Adam, a gift {45} which had been given to Adam also before her, at the very time (as it is commonly held) of his original formation. This is Anglican doctrine, as well as Catholic . . .

Now, taking this for granted, because I know that you and those who agree with you maintain it as well as we do, I ask you, have you any intention to deny that Mary was as fully endowed as Eve? is it any violent inference, that she, who was to co-operate in the redemption of the world, at least was not less endowed with power from on high, than she who, given as a help-mate to her husband, did in the event but cooperate with him for its ruin? If Eve was raised above human nature by that indwelling moral gift which we call grace, is it rash to say that Mary had even a greater grace? And this consideration gives significance to the Angel's salutation of her as "full of grace,"—an interpretation of the original word which is undoubtedly the {46} right one, as soon as we resist the common Protestant assumption that grace is a mere external approbation or acceptance, answering to the word "favour," whereas it is, as the Fathers teach, a real inward condition or superadded quality of soul. And if Eve had this supernatural inward gift given her from the first moment of her personal existence, is it possible to deny that Mary too had this gift from the very first moment of her personal existence? I do not know how to resist this inference:—well, this is simply and literally the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. I say the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is in its substance this, and nothing more or less than this (putting aside the question of degrees of grace); and it really does seem to me bound up in the doctrine of the Fathers, that Mary is the second Eve. . . .

Mary may be called, as it were, a daughter of Eve unfallen. You believe with us that St. John Baptist had grace given to him three months before his birth, at the time that the Blessed Virgin visited his mother. He accordingly was not immaculately conceived, because he was alive before grace came to him; but our Lady's case only differs from his in this respect, that to her the grace of God came, not three months merely before her birth, but from the first moment of her being, as it had been given to Eve.

Newman deals with some other objections, most notably what the Catholic Church means by Original Sin as contrasted with Anglican/Protestant views (that "it is a term denoting Adam's sin as transferred to us, or the state to which Adam's sin reduces his children; but by Protestants it seems to be understood as sin, in much the same sense as actual sin. We, with the Fathers, think of it as something negative, Protestants as something positive."). Thus he concludes:

All this we teach, but we deny that she had original sin; for by original sin we mean, as I have already said, something negative, viz., this only, the deprivation of that supernatural unmerited grace which Adam and Eve had on their first formation,—deprivation and the consequences of deprivation. Mary could not merit, any more than they, the restoration of that grace; but it was restored to her by God's free bounty, from the {49} very first moment of her existence, and thereby, in fact, she never came under the original curse, which consisted in the loss of it. And she had this special privilege, in order to fit her to become the Mother of her and our Redeemer, to fit her mentally, spiritually for it; so that, by the aid of the first grace, she might so grow in grace, that, when the Angel came and her Lord was at hand, she might be "full of grace," prepared as far as a creature could be prepared, to receive Him into her bosom.

I have drawn the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, as an immediate inference, from the primitive doctrine that Mary is the second Eve. The argument seems to me conclusive: and, if it has not been universally taken as such, this has come to pass, because there has not been a clear understanding among Catholics, what exactly was meant by the "Immaculate Conception." To many it seemed to imply that the Blessed Virgin did not die in Adam, that she did not come under the penalty of the fall, that she was not redeemed, that she was conceived in some way inconsistent with the verse in the Miserere Psalm. If controversy had in earlier days so cleared the subject as to make it plain to all, that the doctrine meant nothing else than that in fact in her case the general sentence on mankind was not carried out, and that, by means of the indwelling in her of divine grace from the first moment of her being (and this is all the decree of 1854 has declared), I cannot believe that the doctrine would have ever been opposed . . .

As we conclude this Son Rise Morning Show series on Saint John Henry Newman's assent and defense of Catholic doctrines regarding the Mother of God, it's wonderful to realize that Newman, in this work, as he would later in the Letter to the Duke of Norfolk regarding Papal Infallibility, provided an argument that has been accepted in so many ways to justify Catholic Church teaching. 

As least part of the reason he could argue so convincingly was that he knew that Pusey (and Keble) shared the same foundation for these insights: their study of the Fathers of the Church, the early interpreters of the Holy Bible and the Tradition of the Church. As he reminds his old friends: "The Fathers made me a Catholic, and I am not going to kick down the ladder by which I ascended into the Church. . . . with the Fathers I am content . . . Here, let me say, as on other points, the Fathers are {25} enough for me." One could say that this was Saint John Henry Newman's "Old Time Religion": "If it was good enough for Justin Martyr. it's good enough for me;" "If it was good enough for Irenaeus of Lyon, it's good enough for me" . . . but maybe one shouldn't.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us!
Saint John Henry Newman, pray for us!

Image Credit (public domain): Vanity Fair caricature, 1875 of E.B. Pusey.
Image Credit (public domain): Tiepolo's Inmaculada Concepción, 281 × 155 cm. Madrid, Museo del Prado.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Saint J.H. Newman on Shakespeare and Catholic Churches

There were two other passages in Newman's "Letter Addressed to the Rev. E.B. Pusey, D.D., on the Occasion of his Eirenicon" that impressed me. They don't immediately touch upon the topic of Newman and Marian doctrine and devotion in the Catholic Church, our subject for this month's Son Rise Morning Show series, which will conclude on August 29th. So that's why I'm posting them separately.

One concerns the waxing and waning of Shakespeare's reputation in England. Newman uses it as an example of the distinction he wants to make between faith and devotion. Shakespeare has been considered a great poet and playwright (faith) but national affection has varied; he has fallen out of fashion or returned to center stage:

By "faith" I mean the Creed and assent to the Creed; by "devotion" I mean such religious honours as belong to the objects of our faith, and the payment of those honours. Faith and devotion are as distinct in fact, as they are in idea. We cannot, indeed, be devout without faith, but we may believe without feeling devotion. Of this phenomenon every one has experience both in himself and in others; and we bear witness to it as often as we speak of realizing a truth or not realizing it. It may be illustrated, with more or less exactness, by matters which come before us in the world. For instance, a great author, or public man, may be acknowledged as such for a course of years; yet there may be an increase, an ebb and flow, and a fashion, in his popularity. {27} And if he takes a lasting place in the minds of his countrymen, he may gradually grow into it, or suddenly be raised to it. The idea of Shakespeare as a great poet, has existed from a very early date in public opinion; and there were at least individuals then who understood him as well, and honoured him as much, as the English people can honour him now; yet, I think, there is a national devotion to him in this day such as never has been before. This has happened, because, as education spreads in the country, there are more men able to enter into his poetical genius, and, among these, more capacity again for deeply and critically understanding him; and yet, from the first, he has exerted a great insensible influence over the nation, as is seen in the circumstance that his phrases and sentences, more than can be numbered, have become almost proverbs among us.

Indeed, the Folger Library and other sites provide many examples of those "phrases and sentences" from Shakespeare's works that have been become so commonly used that we forget their source.

And the other passage--both of these are from Chapter 3. The Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin, as distinct from their Devotion to her--is Newman's description of the interior of a Catholic church. It is so vivid that it calls to mind many memories of churches I've visited. It's a demonstration of what we talked about so often in the class I taught for Newman University in June and July this summer: Newman's ability to help his congregation or audience see something in a new way by engaging their imaginations:

This distinction is forcibly brought home to a convert, as a peculiarity of the Catholic religion, on his first introduction to its worship. The faith is everywhere one and the same, but a large liberty is accorded to private judgment and inclination as regards matters of devotion. Any large church, with its collections and groups of people, will illustrate this. The fabric itself is dedicated to Almighty God, and that, under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin, or some particular Saint; or again, of some mystery belonging to the Divine Name or the Incarnation, or of some mystery associated with the Blessed Virgin. Perhaps there are seven altars or more in it, and these again have their several Saints. Then there is the Feast proper to this or that day; and during the celebration of Mass, of all the worshippers who crowd around the Priest, each has his own particular devotions, with which he follows the rite. No one interferes with his neighbour; agreeing, as it were, to differ, they pursue {29} independently a common end, and by paths, distinct but converging, present themselves before God.

Then there are confraternities attached to the church,—of the Sacred Heart, or of the Precious Blood; associations of prayer for a good death, or for the repose of departed souls, or for the conversion of the heathen; devotions connected with the brown, blue, or red scapular; not to speak of the great ordinary Ritual observed through the four seasons, or of the constant Presence of the Blessed Sacrament, or of its ever-recurring rite of Benediction, and its extraordinary forty hours' Exposition. Or, again, look through such manuals of prayers as the Raccolta, and you at once will see both the number and the variety of devotions, which are open to individual Catholics to choose from, according to their religious taste and prospect of personal edification.

I took the pictures above at St. Joseph's Parish in Andale, Kansas, after it had been restored and renovated after a fire (the first two) and at St. Martin's church in Piqua, Kansas, which has been closed for years as an active parish but is maintained by Catholics in the area to be open for visitors.

And from Servant of God, Chaplain Emil J. Kapaun's home parish in Pilsen, Kansas, honoring the church's patron saint, St. John Nepomucene, which I visited in 2016 on the Solemnity of the Assumption:

And two other side altars in that church:

And finally, here's a picture Mark took during Mass on Christmas Day in 2013 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wichita, Kansas (Traditional Latin Mass), depicting the Franciscan saints honored at that parish:

As usual, I'll post my preview of the Son Rise Morning Show discussion this Friday, August 26!

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
Saint Joseph, pray for us!
Saint John Nepomucene, pray for us!
Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us!
Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us!
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
Saint John Henry Newman, pray for us!

Image Credit for Shakespeare's Works (public domain): Title page of the First Folio, 1623. Copper engraving of Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout. All other images (c) Stephanie A. Mann (2013-2022).

Saturday, August 20, 2022

St. J.H. Newman on Life and Change, Corruption and Correction

For my final discussion (scheduled for August 29) on the Son Rise Morning Show of Saint John Henry Newman's development in accepting, understanding, and defending the Marian Doctrine of the Catholic Church and the devotion of Catholics to Mary, I've been reading Newman's reply to E. B. Pusey's Eirenicon for the first time ever! I've read excerpts from it, as in Scepter's The Mystical Rose collection, but never the entire work.

Pusey wrote a public letter to John Keble, one of the other great leaders of the Oxford or Tractarian Movement after the proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In the letter, in which Pusey discussed the obstacles preventing the union of the Catholic Church and Church of England, he mentioned their former colleague in that effort to revive the Apostolic authority of the bishops in the Anglican Church, namely, Newman. 

I have not read Pusey's Eirenicon, but evidently he discussed Father Newman's position in the Catholic Church as a convert; he made comments about statements he mistakenly attributed to Father Newman (shades of Charles Kingsley!); and quoted passages from various Continental Catholic writers in devotional works on the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In January of 1866, Newman replied with his own public letter in five chapters:

1. Introductory Remarks
2. Various Statements introduced into the
3. The Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin, as distinct from their Devotion to her
4. The Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin, as coloured by their Devotion to Her
5. Anglican Misconceptions and Catholic Excesses in Devotion to the Blessed Virgin

Fortunately, Gracewing Publishers will be bringing out a new edition of this work, with Newman's Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, as the companion volume to Edward Short's critical edition of Lectures on Difficulties Felt by Anglicans in Submitting to the Catholic Church which I reviewed here and here.

The second chapter this Letter reads like a mini-Apologia pro Vita Sua, as Newman corrects Pusey's errors about things he or didn't say, about what it must be like to accept the Church's authority over one as a convert, and about certain authors and how they wrote about Marian devotions. Thus he states at the end of that chapter:

I write afresh nevertheless, and that for three reasons; first, because I wish to contribute to the accurate statement and the full exposition of the argument in question; next, because I may gain a more patient hearing than has sometimes been granted to better men than myself; lastly, because there just now seems a call on me, under my circumstances, to avow plainly what I do and what I do not hold about the Blessed Virgin, that others may know, did they come to stand where I stand, what they would, and what they would not, be bound to hold concerning her.

In chapter 4, one passage reminded me of one of the most famous quotations taken from Newman's works, "In a higher world it is otherwise, but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often." (from Chapter 1. On the Development of Ideas, Section 1. On the Process of Development in Ideas, paragraph 7 in An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

In context:

But whatever be the risk of corruption from intercourse with the world around, such a risk must be encountered {40} if a great idea is duly to be understood, and much more if it is to be fully exhibited. It is elicited and expanded by trial, and battles into perfection and supremacy. Nor does it escape the collision of opinion even in its earlier years, nor does it remain truer to itself, and with a better claim to be considered one and the same, though externally protected from vicissitude and change. It is indeed sometimes said that the stream is clearest near the spring. Whatever use may fairly be made of this image, it does not apply to the history of a philosophy or belief, which on the contrary is more equable, and purer, and stronger, when its bed has become deep, and broad, and full. It necessarily rises out of an existing state of things, and for a time savours of the soil. Its vital element needs disengaging from what is foreign and temporary, and is employed in efforts after freedom which become wore vigorous and hopeful as its years increase. Its beginnings are no measure of its capabilities, nor of its scope. At first no one knows what it is, or what it is worth. It remains perhaps for a time quiescent; it tries, as it were, its limbs, and proves the ground under it, and feels its way. From time to time it makes essays which fail, and are in consequence abandoned. It seems in suspense which way to go; it wavers, and at length strikes out in one definite direction. In time it enters upon strange territory; points of controversy alter their bearing; parties rise and around it; dangers and hopes appear in new relations; and old principles reappear under new forms. It changes with them in order to remain the same. In a higher world it is otherwise, but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.

[Sometimes that quotation is taken out of context and interpreted to mean that change for change sake is perfection and that change means that "a great idea" is not the same. But the notice the sentence before as Newman is speaking of "a great idea" and its development: "It changes with them [challenges, controversy, etc] in order to remain the same."

As Newman wrote to Pusey in his letter's second chapter, you can't "cherry-pick" quotations (accurately stated or not) from his works, make them say what you want them to say, and be true to what he really said.]

In this passage, as Newman begins to describe the "Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin, as coloured by their Devotion to her", Newman returns to the theme of "great ideas" and change:

Life in this world is motion, and involves a continual process of change. Living things grow into their perfection, into their decline, into their death. No rule of art will suffice to stop the operation of this natural law, whether in the material world or in the human mind. We can indeed encounter disorders, when they occur, by external antagonism and remedies; but we cannot eradicate the process itself, out of which they arise. Life has the same right to decay, as it has to wax strong. This is specially the case with great ideas. You may stifle them; or you may refuse them elbow-room; or again, you may torment them with your continual meddling; or you may let them have free course and range, and be content, instead of anticipating their excesses, to expose and restrain those excesses after they have occurred. But you have only this alternative; and for myself, I prefer much wherever it is possible, to be first generous and then just; to grant full liberty of thought, and to call it to account when abused.

So even the "great idea" of Marian devotion has a right to change and develop, wax and wane, go wrong for a time and be corrected:

If what I have been saying be true of energetic ideas generally, much more is it the case in matters of religion. Religion acts on the affections; who is to hinder these, when once roused, from gathering in their strength and running wild? . . .  And of all passions love is the most unmanageable; nay more, I would not give much for that love which is never extravagant, which always observes the proprieties, and can move about in perfect good taste, under all emergencies. What mother, what husband or wife, what youth or maiden in love, but says a thousand foolish things, in the way of endearment, which the speaker would be sorry for strangers to hear; yet they are not on that account unwelcome to the parties to whom they are addressed. Sometimes by bad luck they are written down, sometimes they get into the newspapers; and what might be even graceful, when it was fresh from the heart, and interpreted by the voice and the countenance, presents but a melancholy exhibition when served up cold for the public eye. So it is with devotional feelings. Burning thoughts and words are as open to criticism as they are beyond it. What is abstractedly extravagant, may in particular persons be becoming and beautiful, and only fall under blame when it is found in others who imitate them. When it is formalized into meditations or exercises, it is as repulsive as love-letters in a police report. 

I'll stop there with the love-letters in the police report! 

I will post one more passage from this work that really impressed me before I prepare my preview for the August 29 Son Rise Morning Show discussion on Newman's response to Pusey on Marian doctrine and devotion in the Catholic Church.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
Saint John Henry Newman, pray for us!

Friday, August 19, 2022

Preview: St. J.H. Newman's Marian "Development of Doctrine"

In our penultimate survey of Saint John Henry Newman's various opinions on Catholic Marian Doctrine and Devotion, Matt Swaim or Anna Mitchell and I will look briefly at what Newman wrote about what the Church believes about the Mother of God in An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine this coming Monday, August 22, on the Son Rise Morning Show.

I'll be on at my usual time, about 6:50 a.m. Central/7:50 a.m. Eastern. Please listen live here on EWTN Radio or on your local EWTN Affiliate.

Sr. Lutgart Govaert FSO, writing for the blog of the International Centre for Newman Friends, sums up Newman's efforts from late 1842 to 1844 when

 . . . Newman applied his mind to the principle of doctrinal development in the Christian Church. He was interested in whether a true development, a true growth, is possible and how to discern it from an innovation and corruption. This question was of crucial importance, since Newman still suspected the Church of Rome of having added new doctrines and practices to the original Creed.

In the Apologia pro Vita Sua, Newman suggested that there is a link between his new insight in Marian doctrine and devotion in the Roman Church and his study of doctrinal development. He wrote:

“The idea of the Blessed Virgin was as it were magnified in the Church of Rome, as time went on, – but so were all the Christian ideas; as that of the Blessed Eucharist. The whole scene of pale, faint, distant Apostolic Christianity is seen in Rome, as through a telescope or magnifier. The harmony of the whole, however, is of course what it was”[22]. . . 

In these same years, Newman translated some writings by St. Athanasius. He did not find there anything explicitly on Our Lady, but he discovered the theological principle of devotion to the Saints, as he explained in his An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, a work he wrote in 1845, while finding the answers to his last doubts concerning the Church of Rome, and which he left unfinished on being received into the Roman Catholic Church. . . 

In Chapter 4 of the Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, "Instances in Illustration": Newman highlights developments in Marian doctrine after the Nestorian controversy, in a section titled "Our Lord's Incarnation and the Dignity of His Blessed Mother and of All Saints":

10. I have said that there was in the first ages no public and ecclesiastical recognition of the place which St. Mary holds in the Economy of grace; this was reserved for the fifth century, as the definition of our Lord's proper Divinity had been the work of the fourth. There was a controversy contemporary with those already mentioned, I mean the Nestorian, which brought out the complement of the development, to which they had been subservient; and which, if I may so speak, supplied the subject of that august proposition of which Arianism had provided the predicate. In order to do honour to Christ, in order to defend the true doctrine of the Incarnation, in order to secure a right faith in the manhood of the Eternal Son, the Council of Ephesus determined the Blessed Virgin to be the Mother of God. Thus all heresies of that day, though opposite to each other, tended in a most wonderful way to her exaltation; and the School of Antioch, the fountain of primitive rationalism, led the Church to determine first the conceivable greatness of a creature, and then the incommunicable dignity of the Blessed Virgin.

Then he offers a survey of several of the great Fathers of the Church:

11. But the spontaneous or traditional feeling of Christians had in great measure anticipated the formal ecclesiastical decision. Thus the title Theotokos, or Mother of God, was familiar to Christians from primitive times, and had been used, among other writers, by Origen, Eusebius, St. Alexander, St. Athanasius, St. Ambrose, St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Gregory Nyssen, and St. Nilus. She had been called {146} Ever-Virgin by others, as by St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome, and Didymus. By others, "the Mother of all living," as being the antitype of Eve; for, as St. Epiphanius observes, "in truth," not in shadow, "from Mary was Life itself brought into the world, that Mary might bear things living, and might become Mother of living things." [Note 24] St. Augustine says that all have sinned "except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom, for the honour of the Lord, I wish no question to be raised at all, when we are treating of sins." "She was alone and wrought the world's salvation," says St. Ambrose, alluding to her conception of the Redeemer. She is signified by the Pillar of the cloud which guided the Israelites, according to the same Father; and she had "so great grace, as not only to have virginity herself, but to impart it to those to whom she came;"—"the Rod out of the stem of Jesse," says St. Jerome, and "the Eastern gate through which the High Priest alone goes in and out, yet is ever shut;"—the wise woman, says St. Nilus, who "hath clad all believers, from the fleece of the Lamb born of her, with the clothing of incorruption, and delivered them from their spiritual nakedness;"—"the Mother of Life, of beauty, of majesty, the Morning Star," according to Antiochus;—"the mystical new heavens," "the heavens carrying the Divinity," "the fruitful vine by whom we are translated from death unto life," according to St. Ephraim;—"the manna which is delicate, bright, sweet, and virgin, which, as though coming from heaven, has poured down on all the people of the Churches a food pleasanter than honey," according to St. Maximus.

In the second part of the Essay, Newman applied a series of tests to determine whether or not a doctrine was a corruption or a valid development:

1. Preservation of Type
2. Continuity of Principles
3. Power of Assimilation
4. Logical Sequence
5. Anticipation of Its Future
6. Conservative Action upon Its Past
7. Chronic Vigour

Newman tests the development of Marian doctrine in Chapter 10. "Application of the Fifth Note of a True Development—Anticipation of Its Future" in a section titled "Office of the Blessed Virgin":

The special prerogatives of St. Mary, the Virgo Virginum, are intimately involved in the doctrine of the Incarnation itself, with which these remarks began, and have already been dwelt upon above. As is well known, they were not fully recognised in the Catholic ritual till a late date, but they were not a new thing in the Church, or strange to her earlier teachers. St. Justin, St. Irenæus, and others, had distinctly laid it down, that she not only had an office, but bore a part, and was a voluntary agent, in the actual process of redemption, as Eve had been instrumental and responsible in Adam's fall. They taught that, as the first woman might have foiled the Tempter and did not, so, if Mary had been disobedient or unbelieving on Gabriel's message, the Divine Economy would have been frustrated. And certainly the parallel between "the Mother of all living" and the Mother of the Redeemer may be gathered from a comparison of the first chapters {416} of Scripture with the last. . . 

Here, however, we are not so much concerned to interpret Scripture as to examine the Fathers. Thus St. Justin says, "Eve, being a virgin and incorrupt, having conceived the word from the Serpent, bore disobedience and death; but Mary the Virgin, receiving faith and joy, when Gabriel the Angel evangelized her, answered, 'Be it unto me according to thy word.'" [Note 19] And Tertullian says that, whereas Eve believed the Serpent, and Mary believed Gabriel, "the fault of Eve in believing, Mary by believing hath blotted out." [Note 20] St. Irenæus speaks more {417} explicitly: "As Eve," he says ... "becoming disobedient, became the cause of death to herself and to all mankind, so Mary too, having the predestined Man, and yet a Virgin, being obedient, became cause of salvation both to herself and to all mankind." [Note 21] This becomes the received doctrine in the Post-nicene Church.

We'll see how Newman reminds his old friend Pusey of this Patristic view of Mary as the Second Eve in our last segment on Newman and Marian doctrine Monday, August 29.

Chapter 11, "Application of the Sixth Note of a True Development—Conservative Action on Its Past" examines the development of devotion to the Mother of God and here demonstrates what we've read before: he asserts that devotion to her depends on worship of her Son, Jesus Christ:

It has been anxiously asked, whether the honours paid to St. Mary, which have grown out of devotion to her Almighty Lord and Son, do not, in fact, tend to weaken that devotion; and whether, from the nature of the case, it is possible so to exalt a creature without withdrawing the heart from the Creator.

In addition to what has been said on this subject in foregoing Chapters, I would here observe that the question is one of fact, not of presumption or conjecture. The abstract lawfulness of the honours paid to St. Mary, and their distinction in theory from the incommunicable worship paid {426} to God, are points which have already been dwelt upon; but here the question turns upon their practicability or expedience, which must be determined by the fact whether they are practicable, and whether they have been found to be expedient.

Newman looks again at the history of the early Ecumenical Councils:

1. Here I observe, first, that, to those who admit the authority of the Fathers of Ephesus, the question is in no slight degree answered by their sanction of the [Theotokos] or "Mother of God," as a title of St. Mary, and as given in order to protect the doctrine of the Incarnation, and to preserve the faith of Catholics from a specious Humanitarianism. And if we take a survey at least of Europe, we shall find that it is not those religious communions which are characterized by devotion towards the Blessed Virgin that have ceased to adore her Eternal Son, but those very bodies, (when allowed by the law,) which have renounced devotion to her. The regard for His glory, which was professed in that keen jealousy of her exaltation, has not been supported by the event. They who were accused of worshipping a creature in His stead, still worship Him; their accusers, who hoped to worship Him so purely, they, wherever obstacles to the development of their principles have been removed, have ceased to worship Him altogether.

2. Next, it must be observed, that the tone of the devotion paid to the Blessed Mary is altogether distinct from that which is paid to her Eternal Son, and to the Holy Trinity, as we must certainly allow on inspection of the Catholic services. The supreme and true worship paid to the Almighty is severe, profound, awful, as well as tender, confiding, and dutiful. Christ is addressed as true God, {427} while He is true Man; as our Creator and Judge, while He is most loving, gentle, and gracious. On the other hand, towards St. Mary the language employed is affectionate and ardent, as towards a mere child of Adam; though subdued, as coming from her sinful kindred.

And after a survey of common Catholic devotionals to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Newman concludes  there's no idolatry in them at all, and: "Again, a special office is assigned to the Blessed Virgin, that is, special as compared with all other Saints; but it is marked off with the utmost precision from that assigned to our Lord. . . . Again, a distinct cultus is assigned to Mary, but the {436} reason of it is said to be the transcendent dignity of her Son."

Newman is consistent in asserting--from that 1832 sermon on "The Reverence Due to the Virgin Mary," to the 1849 sermons "The Glories of Mary for the Sake of her Son" and "On the Fitness of the Glories of Mary", through to the reasons for her Assumption in the "Meditations" on the Litany of Loreto he wrote for the boys of the Oratory School--the Catholic Church's Marian doctrines and devotions are based on the Catholic Church's Christological doctrine and worship. 

Newman may have not said it so succinctly, but his arguments demonstrate that "Catholics do not worship Mary!"

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!
Saint John Henry Newman, pray for us!

Image credit (public domain) Virgin Salus Populi RomaniRome (5th or 6th century)

Friday, August 12, 2022

Preview: Saint J.H. Newman on Mary's Bodily Assumption

We're going to continue on a Marian Newman theme throughout the month of August in our Monday morning Son Rise Morning Show exchanges, so on Monday, August 15, on the Feast of the Assumption, Anna Mitchell or Matt Swaim and I will take a look at a few of Saint John Henry Newman's Meditations on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I'll be on at my usual time, about 6:50 a.m. Central/7:50 a.m. Eastern. Please listen live here on EWTN or on your local EWTN affiliate.

Of course, we must remember that when Saint John Henry Newman wrote these Meditations for the boys of the Oratory School in Birmingham, England, the Catholic Church did not teach infallibly that the Mother of God had been assumed, body and soul, upon her dormition or death. That dogma would not be proclaimed until 60 years after Newman's death. The photograph above (public domain) is of Venerable Pope Pius XII proclaiming the dogma publicly in 1950. His Apostolic Constitution of November 1, 1950, Munificentissimus Deus, stated in its 44th paragraph, after a review of the Tradition of the Church and her Saints, East and West, regarding her Assumption:

after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

Newman mentions Mary's Assumption in the second of the two Discourses to Mixed Congregations I highlighted last week, "On the Fitness of the Glories of Mary":

I will be brief, but bear with me if I view her bright Assumption, as I have viewed her immaculate purity, rather as a point of doctrine than as a theme for devotion.

It was surely fitting then, it was becoming, that she {371} should be taken up into heaven and not lie in the grave till Christ's second coming, who had passed a life of sanctity and of miracle such as hers. . . . Why should {372} she share the curse of Adam, who had no share in his fall? "Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return," was the sentence upon sin; she then, who was not a sinner, fitly never saw corruption. She died, then, as we hold, because even our Lord and Saviour died . . . She died that she might live, she died as a matter of form or (as I may call it) an observance, in order to fulfil, what is called, the debt of nature,—not primarily for herself or because of sin, but to submit herself to her condition, to glorify God, to do what her Son did; not however as her Son and Saviour, with any suffering for any special end; not with a martyr's death, for {373} her martyrdom had been in living; not as an atonement, for man could not make it, and One had made it, and made it for all; but in order to finish her course, and to receive her crown.

Newman even mentions the tradition, shared by the Saint John Damascene, that the Apostles, having buried her, opened her tomb (because St. Thomas hadn't made to the funeral--late again!) and found it empty. That's why many paintings of the Assumption show her tomb and the Apostles at the bottom and her Assumption into Heaven on the top, like this painting by Andrea del Sarto (public domain).

In Newman's meditations on the Litany of Loreto, he offers another apologetic for believing that the Mother of God was Assumed into Heaven in considering her titles:

Holy Mother of God
Sinless Mother
Mystical Rose
Tower of David
Powerful Virgin
Help of Christians
Most Faithful Virgin
Morning Star

I've selected just a few of his arguments:

From his meditation on Mary as the Holy Mother of God:

We are told by St. Matthew, that after our Lord's death upon the Cross "the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints that had slept"—that is, slept the sleep of death, "arose, and coming out of the tombs after His Resurrection, came into the Holy City, and appeared to many." St. Matthew says, "many bodies of the Saints"—that is, the holy Prophets, Priests, and Kings of former times—rose again in anticipation of the last day.

Can we suppose that Abraham, or David, or Isaias, or Ezechias, should have been thus favoured, and not God's own Mother? Had she not a claim on the love of her Son to have what any others had? Was she not nearer to Him than the greatest of the Saints before her? And is it conceivable that the law of the grave should admit of relaxation in their case, and not in hers? Therefore we confidently say that our Lord, having preserved her from sin and the consequences of sin by His Passion, lost no time in pouring out the full merits of that Passion upon her body as well as her soul.

From his meditation on the Sinless Mother title:

One reason for believing in our Lady's Assumption {65} is that her Divine Son loved her too much to let her body remain in the grave. A second reason—that now before us—is this, that she was not only dear to the Lord as a mother is dear to a son, but also that she was so transcendently holy, so full, so overflowing with grace. Adam and Eve were created upright and sinless, and had a large measure of God's grace bestowed upon them; and, in consequence, their bodies would never have crumbled into dust, had they not sinned; upon which it was said to them, "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return." If Eve, the beautiful daughter of God, never would have become dust and ashes unless she had sinned, shall we not say that Mary, having never sinned, retained the gift which Eve by sinning lost? What had Mary done to forfeit the privilege given to our first parents in the beginning? Was her comeliness to be turned into corruption, and her fine gold to become dim, without reason assigned? Impossible. Therefore we believe that, though she died for a short hour, as did our Lord Himself, yet, like Him, and by His Almighty power, she was raised again from the grave.

From the Mystical Rose meditation:

. . . if her body was not taken into heaven, where is it? how comes it that it is hidden from us? why do we not hear of her tomb as being here or {67} there? why are not pilgrimages made to it? why are not relics producible of her, as of the saints in general? Is it not even a natural instinct which makes us reverent towards the places where our dead are buried? . . . Christians from the earliest times went from other countries to Jerusalem to see the holy places. And, when the time of persecution was over, they paid still more attention to the bodies of the Saints, as of St. Stephen, St. Mark, St. Barnabas, St. Peter, St. Paul, and other Apostles and Martyrs. These were transported to great cities, and portions of them sent to this place or that. Thus, from the first to this day it has been a great feature and characteristic of the Church to be most tender and reverent towards the bodies of the Saints. Now, if there was anyone who more than all would be preciously taken care of, it would be our Lady. Why then do we hear nothing of the Blessed Virgin's body and its separate relics? Why is she thus the hidden Rose? Is it conceivable that they who had been so reverent and careful of the bodies of the Saints and Martyrs should neglect her—her who was the Queen of Martyrs and the Queen of Saints, who was the very Mother of our Lord? It is impossible. Why then is she thus the hidden Rose? Plainly because that sacred body is in heaven, not on earth.

If you are interested in more background on the declaration of the Dogma of Our Lady's Assumption, I highly recommend Mary’s Bodily Assumption by Matthew Levering from Notre Dame University Press which I reviewed a few years ago. From the publisher:

In Mary’s Bodily Assumption, Matthew Levering presents a contemporary explanation and defense of the Catholic doctrine of Mary’s bodily Assumption. He asks: How does the Church justify a doctrine that does not have explicit biblical or first-century historical evidence to support it? With the goal of exploring this question more deeply, he divides his discussion into two sections, one historical and the other systematic.

Levering’s historical section aims to retrieve the rich Mariological doctrine of the mid-twentieth century. He introduces the development of Mariology in Catholic Magisterial documents, focusing on Pope Pius XII’s encyclical
Munificentissimus Deus of 1950, in which the bodily Assumption of Mary was dogmatically defined, and two later Magisterial documents, Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium and Pope John Paul II’s Redemptoris Mater. Levering addresses the work of the neo-scholastic theologians Joseph Duhr, Aloïs Janssens, and Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange before turning to the great theologians of the nouvelle théologie—Karl Rahner, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Louis Bouyer, Joseph Ratzinger—and their emphasis on biblical typology. Using John Henry Newman as a guide, Levering organizes his systematic section by the three pillars of the doctrine on which Mary’s Assumption rests: biblical typology, the Church as authoritative interpreter of divine revelation under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the fittingness of Mary’s Assumption in relation to the other mysteries of faith.

Levering’s ecumenical contribution is a significant engagement with Protestant biblical scholars and theologians; it is also a reclamation of Mariology as a central topic in Catholic theology.

Holy Mother of God, Assumed into Heaven, pray for us!
Saint John Henry Newman, pray for us!

Friday, August 5, 2022

Preview: St. J.H. Newman's Anglican Reverence Toward the Blessed Virgin Mary

We're going to continue on a Marian Newman theme throughout the month of August in our Monday morning Son Rise Morning Show exchanges, so on Monday, August 8, Anna Mitchell or Matt Swaim and I will take a look at the Parochial and Plain Sermon Newman delivered on the Feast of the Annunciation in 1832, as the Vicar of St. Mary's the Virgin in Oxford.

I'll be on at my usual time, about 6:50 a.m. Central/7:50 a.m. Eastern.

Please listen live here on EWTN or on your local EWTN affiliate.

Last week I mentioned this passage from chapter four of the Apologia pro Vita Sua. Writing in 1864, Newman looks back and remembers the tug at his heart he was feeling as the Vicar of St. Mary's the Virgin and Fellow at Oriel College, founded in 1326 as "the College of the Blessed Virgin Mary":

In spite of my ingrained fears of Rome, and the decision of my reason and conscience against her usages, in spite of my affection for Oxford and Oriel, yet I had a secret longing love of Rome the Mother of English Christianity, and I had a true devotion to the Blessed Virgin, in whose College I lived, whose Altar I served, and whose Immaculate Purity I had in one of my earliest printed Sermons made much of. (p. 165)

The sermon he refers to is "The Reverence Due to the Virgin Mary", sermon 12 in Parochial and Plain Sermons, Volume 2, published in 1835.

Just a little biographical context: Newman had begun reading the Fathers of the Church systematically in 1826; he'd been Vicar of St. Mary's since 1828, and he published his first book, The Arians of the Fourth Century the same year he wrote and delivered this sermon. And, as he notes in the first chapter of the Apologia pro Vita Sua, he was influenced by his friend Richard Hurrell Froude:

It is difficult to enumerate the precise additions to my theological creed which I derived from a friend to whom I owe so much. He made me [Note 47] look with admiration towards the Church of Rome, and in the same degree to dislike the {127} Reformation. He fixed deep in me the idea of devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and he led me gradually to believe in the Real Presence.

If you've had time to the read the two sermons I highlighted last week here and in my discussion with Matt Swaim on Monday, August 1, you'll see great connections between those Catholic sermons and this Anglican sermon.

Newman begins, inspired by Luke 1:43 ("From henceforth all generations shall call me blessed."):

TODAY we celebrate the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary; when the Angel Gabriel was sent to tell her that she was to be the Mother of our Lord, and when the Holy Ghost came upon her, and overshadowed her with the power of the Highest. . . .

Her cousin Elizabeth was the next to greet her with her appropriate title. Though she was filled with the Holy Ghost at the time {128} she spake, yet, far from thinking herself by such a gift equalled to Mary, she was thereby moved to use the lowlier and more reverent language. "She spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" ... Then she repeated, "Blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord." Then it was that Mary gave utterance to her feelings in the Hymn which we read in the Evening Service. (The Magnificat)

Newman introduces the image of Mary as the Second Eve and enters into the psychology of her Magnificat:

How many and complicated must they have been! In her was now to be fulfilled that promise which the world had been looking out for during thousands of years. The Seed of the woman, announced to guilty Eve, after long delay, was at length appearing upon earth, and was to be born of her. In her the destinies of the world were to be reversed, and the serpent's head bruised. On her was bestowed the greatest honour ever put upon any individual of our fallen race. God was taking upon Him her flesh, and humbling Himself to be called her offspring;—such is the deep mystery! She of course would feel her own inexpressible unworthiness; and again, her humble lot, her ignorance, her weakness in the eyes of the world. And she had moreover, we may well suppose, that purity and innocence of heart, that bright vision of faith, that confiding trust in her God, which raised all these feelings to an intensity which we, ordinary mortals, cannot understand. 

With that kind of insight into human weakness Newman often demonstrates, he notes that we take the words of the Magnificat too much for granted even as we pray or chant every evening:

We cannot understand them; we repeat her hymn day after day,—yet consider for an instant in how different a mode we say it {129} from that in which she at first uttered it. We even hurry it over, and do not think of the meaning of those words which came from the most highly favoured, awfully gifted of the children of men. "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of His hand-maiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation."

Newman continues the theme of God's purpose in the Incarnation and His choice of a Second Eve to heal the wounds of the Fall of Adam and Eve, citing the Protoevangelium (Genesis 3:15):

I observe, that in her the curse pronounced on Eve was changed to a blessing. Eve was doomed to bear children in sorrow; but now this very dispensation, in which the token of Divine anger was conveyed, was made the means by which salvation came into the world. Christ might have descended from heaven, as He went back, and as He will come again. He might have taken on Himself a body from the ground, as Adam was given; or been formed, like Eve, in some other divinely-devised way. 

But, far from this, God sent forth His Son (as St. Paul says), "made of a woman." For it has been His gracious purpose to turn all that is ours from evil to good. Had He so pleased, He might have found, when we sinned, other beings to do Him service, casting us into hell; but He purposed to save and to change us. And in like manner all that belongs to us, our reason, our affections, our pursuits, our relations in life, He {130} needs nothing put aside in His disciples, but all sanctified. Therefore, instead of sending His Son from heaven, He sent Him forth as the Son of Mary, to show that all our sorrow and all our corruption can be blessed and changed by Him. The very punishment of the fall, the very taint of birth-sin, admits of a cure by the coming of Christ.

Newman even notes that the blessedness of Mary undoes the subjugation of women after the Fall:

But there is another portion of the original punishment of woman, which may be considered as repealed when Christ came. It was said to the woman, "Thy husband shall rule over thee;" a sentence which has been strikingly fulfilled. Man has strength to conquer the thorns and thistles which the earth is cursed with, but the same strength has ever proved the fulfilment of the punishment awarded to the woman. Look abroad through the Heathen world, and see how the weaker half of mankind has everywhere been tyrannized over and debased by the strong arm of force. . . .

But when Christ came as the seed of the woman, He {131} vindicated the rights and honour of His mother. . . . "notwithstanding, she shall be saved through the Child-bearing;" [1 Tim. ii. 15.] that is, through the birth of Christ from Mary, which was a blessing, as upon all mankind, so peculiarly upon the woman. Accordingly, from that time, Marriage has not only been restored to its original dignity, but even gifted with a spiritual privilege, as the outward symbol of the heavenly union subsisting betwixt Christ and His Church.

Thus has the Blessed Virgin, in bearing our Lord, taken off or lightened the peculiar disgrace which the woman inherited for seducing Adam, sanctifying the one part of it, repealing the other.

He considers how the Scripture speak less of Mary once Jesus begins His public ministry, but he notes that the Holy Bible was inspired and written, "not to exalt this or that particular Saint, but to give glory to Almighty God. There have been thousands of holy souls in the times of which the Bible history treats, {133} whom we know nothing of, because their lives did not fall upon the line of God's public dealings with man. In Scripture we read not of all the good men who ever were, only of a few, viz. those in whom God's name was especially honoured."

Thus, as an Anglican Vicar, Newman highlights how carefully the Church of England offers reverence to the Mother of God:

Hence, following the example of Scripture, we had better only think of her with and for her Son, never separating her from Him, but using her name as a memorial of His great condescension in stooping from heaven, and not "abhorring the Virgin's womb." [Quoting the Te Deum as he does in the 1849 sermons cited last week]

And this is the rule of our own Church, which has set apart only such Festivals in honour of the Blessed Mary, as may also be Festivals in honour of our Lord; the Purification commemorating His presentation in the {136} Temple, and the Annunciation commemorating His Incarnation. And, with this caution, the thought of her may be made most profitable to our faith; for nothing is so calculated to impress on our minds that Christ is really partaker of our nature, and in all respects man, save sin only, as to associate Him with the thought of her, by whose ministration He became our brother.

In concluding his sermon, Newman applies what he's said about the Blessed Virgin Mary to himself and his congregation:

Observe the lesson which we gain for ourselves from the history of the Blessed Virgin; that the highest graces of the soul may be matured in private, and without those fierce trials to which the many are exposed in order to their sanctification. So hard are our hearts, that affliction, pain, and anxiety are sent to humble us, and dispose us towards a true faith in the heavenly word, when preached to us. Yet it is only our extreme obstinacy of unbelief which renders this chastisement necessary. The aids which God gives under the Gospel Covenant, have power to renew and purify our hearts, without uncommon providences to discipline us into receiving them. God gives His Holy Spirit to us silently; and the silent duties of every day (it may be humbly hoped) are blest to the sufficient sanctification of thousands, whom the world knows not of. The Blessed Virgin is a memorial of this; and it is consoling as well as instructive to know it.

With a delicate reference to the Transfiguration (which we will celebrate tomorrow, August 6 on the First Saturday of the Month!), at end of this sermon Newman alludes to Christ's Second Coming, the End of the World, and Mary's presence on that day:

The day will come at length, when our Lord and Saviour will unveil that Sacred Countenance to the whole world, which no sinner ever yet could see and live. . . . And then will be fulfilled the promise pledged to the Church on the Mount of Transfiguration. It will be "good" to be with those whose tabernacles might have been a snare to us on earth, had we been allowed to build them. We shall see our Lord, and His Blessed Mother, the Apostles and Prophets, and all those righteous men whom we now read of in history, and long to know. Then we shall be taught in those Mysteries which are now above us. In the words of the Apostle, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is: and every man that hath this hope in Him, purifieth himself, even as He is pure." [1 John iii. 2, 3.]

We certainly won't have time Monday morning to delve into the distinctions to be made between what Newman wrote in 1832 as an Anglican and what he wrote in 1849 as a Catholic. This one passage, which I did not quote in the sequence above (p. 136), might serve as a starting point for such a comparison:

But, further, the more we consider who St. Mary was, the more dangerous will such knowledge of her appear to be. Other saints are but influenced or inspired by Christ, and made partakers of Him mystically. But, as to St. Mary, Christ derived His manhood from her, and so had an especial unity of nature with her; and this wondrous relationship between God and man it is perhaps impossible for us to dwell much upon without some perversion of feeling. For, truly, she is raised above the condition of sinful beings, though by nature a sinner; she is brought near to God, yet is but a creature, and seems to lack her fitting place in our limited understandings, neither too high nor too low. We cannot combine, in our thought of her, all we should ascribe with all we should withhold.

Otherwise, he says very little here that any Catholic would not say about the Blessed Virgin Mary as a saint and model--but I'd say that in 1832, Newman was still leery of  promoting to his Anglican congregation, not reverence toward the Mother of God, but devotion to her.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
Saint John Henry Newman, pray for us!

Image source: (Public Domain, provided by the Cornell University Library: This image is from the Cornell University Library's The Commons Flickr stream.The Library has determined that there are no known copyright restrictions.) Oxford. University Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. Architect: Nicholas Stone. Sculpture Date: 1637. Building Date: 1280-ca. 1637. Photograph date: ca. 1865-ca. 1885.

Image source (Public Domain): The Transfiguration by Pietro Perugino, c. 1500.