Saint Newman, Slavery and Freedom

A WEEK from today, on 13 October, a man dear to the hearts of everyone here will be canonized: John Henry Newman. I wonder, sometimes, if those who profess to admire him have actually read him, and in particular, if they are familiar with the sermons he preached as the Anglican vicar of the University church of Saint Mary the Virgin in Oxford. These sermons, immensely popular in the 1830s, are demanding, even relentless in their depiction of Christian commitment and its implications for the daily conduct of people who profess to follow Jesus. One of them, “The Strictness of

Praise the Lord

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An example of some meaty catechesis from my childhood

Some time ago on Twitter, I took to scheduling a regular post at night time, and one for in the morning – not exactly first thing, but before most people get in to work. On TweetDeck, you can set these up to publish when scheduled. The night one was a retweet of a masterpiece of sacred art, and the morning one was something about a saint for that day. I felt that there could be several positive features of this practice.

It would make sure that my Twitter feed was begun and ended on a positive note with something that people would expect from a priest; with God’s grace, somebody might be helped by either or both of those posts. That seemed to work, and there were sometimes quite a lot of likes or positive comments. If I also kept to a rule of not publishing anything outside of these limits, it was a way for me to set a small “rule of life” reminder not to be looking at social media too late at night or early in the morning.

After a while I realised that the saint tweet could end up taking up more time than appropriate for something that was meant to be quick, and the sacred art could get a little repetitive. Therefore I started to tweet quotations from the Penny Catechism and from the Imitation of Christ. In due course, I could change the texts. This also seems to be popular, and appropriate for a priest on Twitter.

Praise the Lord

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