Waiting on the Lord


We must not only have faith in him, but we must wait on him.

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman

We must not only have faith in him, but must wait on him; not only must hope, but must watch for him; not only love him, but must long for him; not only obey him, but must look out, look up earnestly for our reward, which is himself. We must not only make him the object of our faith, hope, and charity, but we must make it our duty not to believe the world, not to hope in the world, not to love the world ...

They, then, watch and wait for their Lord, who are tender and sensitive in their devotion towards him; who feed on the thought of him, hang on his words; live in his smile, and thrive and grow under his hand. They are eager for his approval, quick in catching his meaning, jealous of his honor. They see him in all things, expect him in all events, and amid all the cares, the interests, and the pursuits of this life, still would feel an awful joy, not a disappointment, did they hear that he was on the point of coming ...

You know there are subtle instincts in the inferior animals, by which they apprehend the presence of things which man cannot discern, as atmospheric changes or convulsions of the earth or their natural enemies, whom yet they do not actually see; and we consider the uneasiness or the terror which they exhibit to be a proof that there is something near them which is the object of the feeling, and is the evidence of its own reality. Well, in some such way the continuous watching and waiting for Christ, which prophets, apostles, and the Church built upon them have manifested age after age, is a demonstration that the object of it is not a dream or a fancy, but really exists; in other words, that he lives still, that he has ever lived, who was once upon earth, who died, who disappeared, who said he would come again.




John Henry Cardinal Newman. "Waiting on the Lord." from Prayers, Poems, Meditations.

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman's writings are in the public domain.


Blessed John Henry Newman was born in London, 21 February 1801, and died Birmingham, 11 August 1890. As Vicar of St. Mary's Oxford he exerted a profound spiritual influence on the Church of England. Joining the Catholic Church in 1845 he founded Oratories of St. Philip Neri in Birmingham and London, was the first rector of the Catholic University in Dublin, and was made Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879. Through his published writings and private correspondence he created a greater understanding of the Catholic Church and its teachings, helping many persons with their religious difficulties. At his death he was praised for his unworldliness, humility, and prayerful contact with the invisible world. He was declared Venerable on 22 January 1991. John Henry Cardinal Newman is the author of many books including, Parochial and Plain Sermons, Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent, Difficulties of Anglicans, The Idea of a University, Oxford University Sermons, and Apologia Pro Vita Sua.

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