John Henry Newman’s Prayer for the Church – that only exists in German


Hint: It was falsely attributed to him

Some years ago, in troubled times, I found this prayer by Bl. John Henry Newman:

O Gott,
die Zeit ist voller Bedrängnis,
die Sache Christi liegt wie im Todeskampf.
Und doch –  nie schritt Christus mächtiger durch diese Erdenzeit,
nie war sein Kommen deutlicher,
nie seine Nähe spürbarer,
nie sein Dienst köstlicher als jetzt.Darum lasst uns in diesen Augenblicken des Ewigen,
zwischen Sturm und Sturm,
in der Erdenzeit zu Dir beten:O Gott,
Du kannst das Dunkel erleuchten,
Du kannst es allein!

(Kardinal John Henry Newman)

O God,
the time is full of distress,
the cause of Christ is like in agony.
And yet – never did Christ walk more powerfully through this time on earth,
Never was His coming clearer
never His proximity more noticeable,
never His service more precious than now.
Let us then in these moments of the Eternal,
between storms,
in this time on Earth pray to you:
O God,
You can illuminate the darkness,
You can do it alone!(Cardinal John Henry Newman)
[translation mine]

It gave me a lot of peace, and took me on a path of discovery, since a friend had already suggested that I read his autobiography “Apologia pro vita sua”. Within, I learned to know a personality who in the depths of his heart was always reaching for the truth. He was someone with a profound piety, the gift of friendship and pastoral care, apostolic zeal, and a high intellectual capacity. He started out as an Anglican clergyman, where he wrote the wonderful poem known to Anglicans and Catholics alike entitled, “Lead, kindly light”, when feeling lonely on his way back to England from Rome. Upon his return from this Continue reading


Why I love being Catholic

St. Stephan Wien

St. Stephan’ Cathedral, Vienna

[written on 07 June 2015, to answer Patheos Catholic’s request to answer #whyremaincatholic]

In the United States, recent research has shown that the Catholic Church is losing faithful to the category of “unaffiliated” – whatever that is. Here in Austria, we would say, the Catholic Church is losing faithful to the category “not-practicing,” or “bored,” or “uninterested”. Our Catholic faith is out of sync.

I beg to differ. I love my Catholic faith and I cannot live without it. I cannot live without the Eucharist, without the saints, without the balanced theology my faith provides, and without the church itself.

1. The Eucharist

In Edzard Schaper’s novel [1], the fourth king goes out with the other three kings to visit the newborn King of Israel, but he loses the others wandering around along the way, reaching out to the hurting and lost, giving away the treasures he had brought with him, but at then end…  He finally remembers that this goal was to find the King of Israel, and he arrives just in time to meet our Lord carrying the Cross to Calvary. Continue reading