Fr. Burns S.J., The Cardinal, and Lancashire
Newman aimed shafts of his eloquence at the commercialritan of his day; at the "intense, sleepless, restless, never-wearied, never-satisfied pursuit of Mammon in one shape or another, to the exclusion of aIl deep, all, holy, all reverent thoughts."
Over a thousand people, drawn from all parts of Lancashire, heard these Words last Sunday, as Fr. George Burns, S.I., preached at Si.„ Anne's, Sutton, in the grounds of which Fr. Dominic Barberi, CP., the Italian Passionist Father who received Cardinal Newman into the Church, one hundred years ago, is burled.
The afternoon's events included a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction, and Fr. Burns' sermon, which contrasted the figures of the great Cardinal and his saintly guide and friend, and continued: It is easy to paint two portraits and to draw out the differences between Dominic Barberi and Henry Newman: Palanzana and Ealing, an Oxford study and a monastic cell; the one 'who gave his life to the service of the Passionists, the other who began his ecclesiastical career as a minister of the Church of England. Dominic -short and stoutish, with round, durk, piercing eyes; shuffling in his walk, squeaking in his voice. Newman-tall, serene, magnetic; mighty in his command of the English language; an intellectual giant. "But Lhere is nothing about intellectual excellence in the Gospels," he was to affirm in later year's.
The real Newman can never be understood unless it is realised that his thief and enduring quality was a deep and penetrating ability to search out the inner depths of the Gospel mysteries, to give expression to them in piercing language and to learn from them a genuine pastoral love of souls. Scholarship may be a meane a useful but not a necessary means. Faith on the basis of exact doctrine energises into enlarged and expansive love. " There is nothing too daring for love to venture," wrote Dominic to a friend.
Here, then, they meet on common ground. 'Rey both sought to express their love for the people of Englandnot. just by intellectual argument, but by the preaching of the Word of God. Dominic came out into the marketsquares ; he held up rhe challeng,e of the Cross to the English people; he preached the gospel in the streets of the big cities and in the side-walks of the little villages. He preached it by the everyday manner of his devoted life and by his supetnatural love of the ordinary man. He weeks of his
" dear England . . . his beloved nation."
Clearly, his love of the people of England did not mean a love of the methods and the means by which the people of this country have been explaited and ill-used, continued Fr. Burns. Could he have given his blessing to the jerry.built rows of hovels that were called the houses of the people clustered around the pit
heads of Lancashire 7 There the people, herded and hounded, snatched their night's rest after a day of sweate,d labour. Need he, as an Ambassador of Christ, have approved of the British penetration of China or India in the 'ford% of the last century ? Is there no true and valid distinctions between a patriotism that loves the people by giving them the riches of the gospel and a jingoism which seeks to conquer the world by commercial enterprise and expansion ?
Newman knew that such a distance tion could and ought to be made-and he made it. He aimed fiery shafts of his eloquence at the commercial man of the day ; at the " intense, sleepleas, mtlem, never-wearied, never-satisfied, pursuit of Mammon in One shape or another, to the exclusion of all deep. all holy, all calm, all reverent thoughts." Dominic, too, attacked the citadels of the money-makers by the very fact that he based all his St2I MODS on the Four Last Things, which even appeared to him to be the Four First Things.
BARE-FOOTED MISSION Notice this fact-it is an important point. It was Dominie's methods which attracted and impressed Newman and led to that memorable aware at Littlemore in October, 1845. Four years previously, Newman had written to a friend : "11 they ((lie Catholics) want JO convert England, let them go barefooted into the manufacturing townslet them preach to the people like Si. Francis Xavier-let them be pelted and trarnpled upon-and I will own that they Call do what we cannot. I will confess that they are our betters far. . Thls is to • he. Catholics-this Is to secure a triumph. Let them use the proper arms of the Church and they will prove that they are that Church by using them."
Dominic answered that challenge I And there, by the firelight, shortly before midnight, what a spectacle indeed It was to see John Henry Newman at the feet of Fr. Dominic Barbera asking to be admitted into the bosom of the Catholic Church I
.D OMI N IC'S MESSAGE Dominic's message to us rings out clear and certain : preach a universal love; embrace all men with the charity of the Heart of Christ. There is only sene race-the human race. An atomic bomb have b burleed at the people of England w
raised cries of horror and raised cries of horror and
shocked our Christen' conscience, I raise that cry from this pulpit on this afternoon. But if charity is universal, it is also particula• and special. It begins at tome. We love our own people by giving them the richness enshrined in the Gospel message; by striving, suffering, enduring all things, hoping all things, fulfilling our respective tasks and employments--all directed to the salvation of the souls of our countrymen. Hurl the Challenge of the Cross to that small body of men who seek to possess the souls oi the people of England with their new slaveries, under cover of high
sounding names Warn the people that " permanent employment " may be just another name for "permanent enslavement "; draw them to the one service Cl the one Master.
One thing and one thing alone is immortal in this worldthe human soul. And no greater danger can there be than the idolatry of money-making, both to an individual and to a nation. " It is a very fearful consideration that we belong to a nation which in good measure subsists by the making of money," said Newman. Fearful-because Christ Himself and St. Paul after Him have given us solemn warnings an this point. The true SOCial reformer is the man who has the courage and the conviction to preach the whole Gospel and nothing but the Gospel and thus to merit for himself the hatred of the money-minded world around him. Such a roan was Dominic Barberi rind such, too, was Henry Newman. We need their influence to-day ; we are waiting for the young men and women who are willing to walk in their footsteps. The Gospel was planted by the preaching of the Cross and by the Cross it will be recruited, refreshed, restored to the people of England.