Does the sea blossom? Are green leaves budding on its waters, and is the scent of spring in its waves? Do birds begin to sing under its shadow, and to build their nests on its branches? Ah! mighty sea! Thou art a tree whose spring never yet came, for thou art an evergreen.
Born on 21 February, 1801, John Henry Cardinal Newman, now beatified, who is one of England’s most famous converts from Anglicanism and the Oxford Movement. From his Apologia pro vita sua:
All this time I was hard at my essay on Doctrinal Development. As I advanced, my view so cleared that instead of speaking any more of “the Roman Catholics,” I boldly called them Catholics. Before I got to the end, I resolved to be received, and the book remains in the state in which it was then, unfinished.
On October 8th I wrote to a number of friends the following letter:—
“Littlemore, October 8, 1845. I am this night expecting Father Dominic, the Passionist, who, from his youth, has been led to have distinct and direct thoughts, first of the countries of the North, then of England. After thirty years’ (almost) waiting, he was without his own act sent here. But he has had little to do with conversions. I saw him here for a few minutes on St. John Baptist’s day last year. He does not know of my intention; but I mean to ask of him admission into the one Fold of Christ….
“I have so many letters to write, that this must do for all who choose to ask about me. With my best love to dear Charles Marriott, who is over your head, etc., etc.
“P.S. This will not go till all is over. Of course it requires no answer.”