My View For Awhile: reading edition

I’ve travelled to my native place for a meeting of my literary group.  We are reading the poetry of John Henry Newman.  


And as a bonus for attentive readers here’s a menu option!

A fresh salad of watermelon, feta cheese, and mint from our hostess’ garden.


The group opted for Chinese!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Denis Crnkovic says:

    Indeed, will someone post what this literary group discusses? It seems a shame to hide such erudition under a bushel basket…

    (Marginally on topic: it is ljubenica season in my native land: time for watermelon juice and Welschreisling drinks.)

  2. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “We are reading the poetry of John Henry Newman.” And being moved to listen again sometime soon, whether together or singly, to what Elgar does with the first example, if your response is anything like mine, on seeing it.

  3. I’ve just finished volume 1 of Meriol Trevor’s inspired biography of Newman (The Pillar of the Cloud). I’m going to start vol 2, Light in Winter, next.

    It’s beautifully written and hugely absorbing. What an amazing man he was; I really had no idea of what he’d really gone through.

  4. stephen c says:

    The Pillar of the Cloud sounds like a good book… Slightly off topic, except to refer to another Catholic book that many have read, the next time someone films the Lord of the Rings, the 111th birthday party should be filmed at Coxton Park, Birmingham, near Newman’s chosen resting place, and near the place where one of Newman’s former chaplains (Father F.X. Morgan, if memory serves, or maybe Francis Morgan, or Murphy) found an affordable cottage as a temporary home for a poor exhausted widow from South Africa who was raising two sons, one of whom would, it is believed, base some of the imagery of Hobbiton and the Shire on the park that received so much glory, in his heart, from the charity his family received from Newman’s friend.

  5. Giuseppe says:

    This passage from Elgar’s, The Dream of Gerontius always grabs my soul. I used to have problems with opera or oratorio sung in English, since I found it hard to understand. Gerald Finley proved me wrong:

  6. Giuseppe says:

    Was the Fortune Cookie in honor of Justice Scalia’s footnote in Obergefell?

    “The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”

  7. jameeka says:

    Sometimes we “must be cruel to be kind” and then it gets kind of hot!

  8. Grumpy Beggar says:

    As much as I admire Blessed John Henry Newman’s Lead Kindly Light , his poem to his own Guardian Angel is one that has always gotten me on a much deeper level than the “Angel of God. . . “ prayer . I first read it in a book entitled St. Michael and the Angels, but they would appear to have left out several verses . The Complete poem seems to go as follows :


    My oldest friend, mine from the hour
    When first I drew my breath;
    My faithful friend, that shall be mine,
    Unfailing, till my death;

    Thou hast been ever at my side;
    My Maker to thy trust
    Consign’d my soul, what time He framed
    The infant child of dust.

    No beating heart in holy prayer,
    No faith, inform’d aright,
    Gave me to Joseph’s tutelage,
    Or Michael’s conquering might.

    Nor patron Saint, nor Mary’s love,
    The dearest and the best,
    Has known my being, as thou hast known,
    And blest, as thou hast blest.

    Thou wast my sponsor at the font;
    And thou, each budding year,
    Didst whisper elements of truth
    Into my childish ear.

    And when, ere boyhood yet was gone,
    My rebel spirit fell,
    Ah! thou didst see, and shudder too,
    Yet bear each deed of Hell.

    And then in turn, when judgments came,
    And scared me back again,
    Thy quick soft breath was near to soothe
    And hallow every pain.

    Oh! who of all thy toils and cares
    Can tell the tale complete,
    To place me under Mary’s smile,
    And Peter’s royal feet!

    And thou wilt hang about my bed,
    When life is ebbing low;
    Of doubt, impatience, and of gloom,
    The jealous sleepless foe.

    Mine, when I stand before the Judge;
    And mine, if spared to stay
    Within the golden furnace, till
    My sin is burn’d away.

    And mine, O Brother of my soul,
    When my release shall come;
    Thy gentle arms shall lift me then,
    Thy wings shall waft me home.

    Cardinal John Henry Newman

    Cardinal Newman truly must have been a man of vision as well : Back when he walked on this earth, he was actually praying for those of us living today ; so it seems. The following quote is attributed to him:

    “I thank God that I live in a day when the enemy is outside the Church, and I know where he is and what he is up to. But, I foresee a day when the enemy will be both outside and inside the Church . . . and I pray now for the poor faithful who will be caught in the crossfire.”

  9. bkerns07 says:

    Fr. Z–

    What edition of Newman’s poems is your group using?

  10. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    It looks like one or another edition or printing of Verses on Various Occasions, judging by the second photo! Three are scanned in the Internet Archive: the one dated 1874 on the title page has this poem as LXXXVII starting on page 149, but both the one dated 1888 and the one dated 1889 and described as a “NEW EDITION” have it as here.

    Here’s the 1889:

    The 1903 one transcribed at

    only has the first ten lines on p. 153.

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