Cardinal Newman's cost of discipleship
On Sept. 19, 2010, in Birmingham, England, the long awaited beatification ceremony will take place for the great Victorian Catholic theologian, John Henry Cardinal Newman, one of the most influential English Catholics of the 19th century. He journeyed from Anglicanism to Catholicism and used his great intellect and masterful writing ability to win over thousands of people to Christ and the Roman Catholic Church.
In becoming Catholic, Newman had to make many sacrifices. Many of his friends broke off relations with him after his conversion, and his family kept him at a distance. He had to resign his teaching fellowship and lost his only source of income. He lived the terrible pain of misunderstanding from his own family, from Church leaders, and those closest to him. Newman said that the one thing that sustained him during this trying period was Christ's presence in the Blessed Sacrament.
As a tribute to his extraordinary work and devotion, Pope Leo XIII named Father John Henry Newman a Cardinal in 1879. After a life of trials, Newman received the news with joy and declared, "The cloud is lifted forever."
Cardinal Newman died at the age of 89 at the Oratory House in Edgbaston on Aug. 11, 1890. He was declared Venerable in 1991 by Pope John Paul II. On Sept. 19, 2010, Benedict XVI, himself, will honor Cardinal John Henry Newman, a good and faithful servant who paid the price for the cost of discipleship of Jesus.