John Henry Newman lived between 1801 to 1890 as a theologian and a poet. He understands what it means to serve as a priest in both the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches. It was in the Catholic Church where he made his mark. Starting out as a simple priest, John Henry Newman later became a cardinal. He started his education at Oxford University and it was here he became enthralled with the traditions of the Anglican Church.
In the 1840’s he left the Anglican Church and joined the Catholic Church and it was here that he would spend his career. He was instrumental in the founding of the Catholic University of Ireland which evolved into University College Dublin, today the largest university in Ireland.
Nationally known by the 1830s, this Roman Catholic theologian was the eldest son of a London banker.
He made a mark as far as religious history goes in England and is made the more famous by his prayers. So, what are John Henry Newman prayers and what do they mean? The prayers are already popular on their own so, an attempt will be made to understand what it is meant to achieve. Following are some of John Henry Newman’s prayers.
The Mission of My Life:
This is one of the most popular works of John Henry Newman. It has a deep meaning that tries to explain why men should not question God’s plan for their lives. According to the author, there is a reason why he was created even when he does not understand it himself. He does not believe that suffering in the form of sickness among others is a sign of rejection by God. Instead, he embraces the belief that God knows all things and has a perfect plan which may not be revealed to him now but in the next life. Regardless of what comes his way, he decides to remain a preacher of the truth.
Prayer For The Light of Truth
This prayer is simply asking God for the grace to make the right choices not because they are easy but for the simple reason that it is the proper thing to do. He begins by asking for forgiveness of his wrongdoings. He does not ask with certainty that God will absolve him of his sins. The prayer is a simple plea for God to forgive him because he has the power to do so. He also asks for God’s grace and enlightenment of the darkness that he finds himself in.
Prayer For A Happy Death
John Henry Newman accepts the fact that death is an inevitable end that men experience. He simply prays for sufficient grace to support him in the hour of his death. Newman hopes that when the time comes he will be met by glorious Saints smiling at him and his personal Angel whisper to him words of peace. He does not forget to ask for the smile of Mary that will make the hour of his death a happy one. Newman also expects the absolving words to be said over him at the time of his death as he desires to live in the Lord’s faith, church, service and love.
Lead Kindly Light
In the dark of night, John Henry Newman prays for the Kindly Light to lead him. While he makes this prayer, he emphasizes that his worry is not to learn about what the future holds, but a simple understanding of what step needs to be taken next. He goes on to pray that the past years when he wanted to know about the future rather than commit it to God’s hands be forgotten. Newman believes that with the blessing of God’s power he will be led in the right direction until the night is gone. And when the morning comes, the smile of the Angels is what he wishes to see.
A Daily Prayer
This prayer by John Henry Newman is short and expected to be said daily. The essence is to gain the support of God all through the day in all that he does before nightfall. He prays for the peace to go about without getting drowned in the bustling of the world and the fever of being involved with so many things at once. The prayer ends with a plea that at the end of everything, that the mercy of God is our portion to guarantee us holy peace and rest.
Cardinal John Henry Newman wrote many prayers and hymns to remind men of the need to embrace God and trust in His ways. There is a prayer for every occasion from the hour of death to daily prayer for God’s guidance in all that we do. He may long be gone but his prayers remain with us as a reminder of what needs to be done.