Thursday, April 23, 2009

Novena for Fr. Jaki - Third Day

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

A very different, though equally eloquent witness on behalf of the spiritual power of the rosary came from the ageing Cardinal Newman. First he had to forgo saying the Mass. Then he was no longer able to recite the breviary. In view of Newman's enormous love for the Divine Office, this must have been an especially great loss for him. Newman's ready reply to a condolence on that loss of his was preserved by a fellow Oratorian who reminisced that for Newman "the rosary more than made up for it; that the rosary was to him the most beautiful of all devotions and that it contained all in itself." The same priest continued: "In time, however, the rosary had to be abandoned; a want of sensitiveness in his finger-ends disabling him from its use. From far back," the priest added, "in the long distance of time, memory brings him forward, when not engaged in writing or reading, as most frequently having the rosary in his hand."

The same priest could not guess, although Newman himself foresaw this, that a grim contestation would arise within the Church about the status of the supernatural. Yet even Newman with his prophetic gifts would not have dared guess that he would be in the center of the storm, though hardly responsible for it. Liberals who try to dissolve the supernatural into the mere natural did their best to hijack Newman. No wonder that they do not want him to be recalled as one who, whenever free of writing and reading, reached out for his rosary. No single spiritual exercise, with the exception of doing the stations of the cross, stands so powerfully in the way of the juggernaut of the sinister "naturalization" of the supernatural as does the devout recitation of Hail Marys grouped around the twenty mysteries.
[Jaki, Twenty Mysteries, introduction]


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