Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Kindly Light

The Times of London reported Sunday that John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801 - 1890) may be beatified later this year -- moving him one step closer to being named a saint of the Church.

I learned about Cardinal Newman during my college years after becoming a member of the Newman Club at NYU, a group of Catholic undergraduates on campus who gather together for social, spiritual and community service activities. (Go here for a backgrounder on the "Newman Movement.")

Cardinal Newman was one of the great preachers and writers of Victorian England. His verse "The Pillar of Cloud" is a favorite of mine:

LEAD, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,

Lead thou me on!

The night is dark, and I am far from home,—

Lead thou me on!

Keep thou my feet! I do not ask to see

The distant scene—one step enough for me.


I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou

Shouldst lead me on;

I loved to choose and see my path; but now

Lead thou me on!

I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,

Pride ruled my will: remember not past years!


So long thy power hath blest me, sure it still

Will lead me on,

O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till

The night is gone,

And with the morn those angel faces smile

Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

1 comment:

Rosemary A said...

Just today the Vatican approved the beatification of John Cardinal Newman. The official ceremony will be later this year.