Month: October 2015

How the saints help us

18 Oct 2015

John Henry Newman and hope in Christian life · Hermann Geissler, Osservatore Romano (English Version) Sept. 11, 2015. Reproduced by permission. In a discourse on Saintliness the standard of Christian Principle, Newman develops these ideas. As usual, he starts with the conscience, that instinct of the heart which tells “the difference between right and wrong, and is the standard by which to measure thoughts and actions” (Mix 83). The light of conscience is given to us to guide the soul in its journey towards heaven: “to tell us our duty on every emergency, to instruct us in detail what sin is, to judge between all things which come before us, to discriminate the precious from the vile, to hinder us from being seduced by what is pleasant and agreeable, and to dissipate the sophisms of our reason” (Mix 84). To perform this function the conscience “needs to be regulated and sustained. Left to itself, though it tells truly at first, it soon becomes wavering, ambiguous, and false; it needs good teachers and good examples to keep it up to the mark and line of duty” (Mix 83). According to Newman, the tragedy is that these necessary teachers and examples are…