'Growth is the only evidence of life.' ~John Henry Newman
The beatification of John Henry Newman took place last Sunday. It was the final day of Pope Benedict's papal visit to the United Kingdom. The visit has been described as positive, upbeat and the first occasion in a while when the Pope warmed himself to people right across the spectrum. The beatification was seen as the highlight of the visit and one that offers the church a candle in the dark. During his lifetime John Henry Newman was not afraid to speak his mind. He actively promoted lay education to offset clericalism. He embraced the whole theory of evolution and promoted a surrender of heart and mind to God on a daily basis whom he experienced as a God of love. He is probably most famous for a prayer he composed which is known worldwide: "May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging, and a holy rest and peace at the last."