Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman will become Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman later this year. Cardinal Newman is big news for converts to Catholicism, as his “conversion to Catholicism in 1845 rocked Victorian England.”
Known for his ability to write well, it turns out that he wrote poetry too. Below is a little poem on thankfulness I found while trolling the YIMC Bookshelf. It’s easy to count your blessings when everything is going your way. This poem reminds us to be thankful in the midst of adversity, when the Way seems particularly arduous, as well.
‘Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.’
LORD, in this dust thy sovereign voice
First quickened love divine;
I am all thine,—thy care and choice,
My very praise is thine.
I praise Thee, while thy providence
In childhood frail I trace,
For blessings given, ere dawning sense
Could seek or scan thy grace;
Blessings in boyhood’s marvelling hour;
Bright dreams, and fancyings strange;
Blessings, when reason’s awful power
Gave thought a bolder range;
Blessings of friends, which to my door
Unasked, unhoped, have come;
And, choicer still, a countless store
Of eager smiles at home.
Yet, Lord, in memory’s fondest place
I shrine those seasons sad,
When, looking up, I saw thy face
In kind austereness clad.
I would not miss one sigh or tear,
Heart-pang, or throbbing brow;
Sweet was the chastisement severe,
And sweet its memory now.
Yes! let the fragrant scars abide,
Love-tokens in thy stead,
Faint shadows of the spear-pierced side
And thorn-encompassed head.
And such thy tender force be still,
When self would swerve or stray;
Shaping to truth the froward will
Along thy narrow way.
Deny me wealth; far, far remove
The lure of power or name;
Hope thrives in straits, in weakness love,
And faith in this world’s shame.