Our duty as Christians lies in making ventures for eternal life without the absolute certainty of success.
This, indeed, is the very meaning of the word 'venture'; for that is a strange venture which has nothing in it of fear, risk, danger, anxiety, uncertainty. Yes,so it certainly is; and in this consists the excellence and nobleness of faith; this is the very reason why faith is singled out from other graces, and honored as the especial means of our justification, because its presence implies that we have the heart to make a venture.
If, then, faith be the essence of a Christian life, and if it be what I have now described, it follows that our duty lies in risking upon Christ's word what we have for what we have not; and doing so in a noble, generous way, not indeed rashly or lightly, still without knowing accurately what we are doing, not knowing either what we give up, nor again what we shall gain; uncertain about our reward, uncertain about our extent of sacrifice, in all respects leaning, waiting upon him, trusting in him to fulfill his promise, trusting in him to enable us to fulfill our own vows, and so in all respects proceeding without carefulness or anxiety about the future.
John Henry Cardinal Newman. "Our duty to trust Him." excerpt from Parochial and Plain Sermons (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997).
This excerpt appeared in Magnificat in June 2004.
Blessed John Henry Newman was born on 21 February 1801, and died on 11 August 1890. 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. Blessed 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, Fifteen Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford Between A.D. 1826 and 1843, and Apologia Pro Vita Sua.Copyright © Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman
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