As the 9th of October falls on the 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time, it is nevertheless worth remembering Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, patron of the LNS. Because his feast falls on a Sunday, perhaps it’s fitting to listen to Newman, the preacher, speak to us about Sundays:
When we read the Bible and religious books in private, there is great comfort; but our minds are commonly more roused and encouraged in Church, when we see those great truths displayed and represented which Scripture speaks of. There we see “Jesus Christ, evidently set forth, crucified among us.” The ordinances which we behold, force the unseen truth upon our senses. The very disposition of the building, the subdued light, the aisles, the Altar, with its pious adornments, are figures of things unseen, and stimulate our fainting faith. We seem to see the heavenly courts, with Angels chanting, and Apostles and Prophets listening, as we read their writings in due course. And thus, even attendance on a Sunday may, through God’s mercy, avail even in the case of those who have not given themselves up to Him—not to their salvation (for no one can be saved by one or two observances merely, or without a life of faith), but so far as to break in upon their dream of sin, and give them thoughts and notions which may be the germ of future good. Even to those, I say, who live to the world, the mere Sunday attendance at Church is a continual memento on their conscience, giving them a glimpse of things unseen, and rescuing them in a measure from the servitude of Mammon or of Belial. And therefore it is, that Satan’s first attempt, when he would ruin a soul, is to prevail upon him to desecrate the Lord’s Day. And if such is the effect of coming to Church once a week, even to an undecided or carnal mind, how much more impressive and invigorating are the Services to serious men who come daily or frequently! Surely such attendance is a safeguard, such as amulets were said to be, a small thing to all appearance, but effectual. I say it with confidence, he who observes it, will grow in time a different man from what he was, God working in him. His heart will be more heavenly and aspiring; the world will lie under his feet; he will be proof against its opinions, threats, blandishments, ridicule. His very mode of viewing things, his very voice, his manner, gait, and countenance, will speak of Heaven to those who know him well, though the many see nothing in him. (“The Visible Church: An Encouragement to Faith” from Parochial and Plain Sermons.)
Bl. Newman, O.P.N.
“So may we knock at Heaven’s door, And strive the immortal prize to win, Continually and evermore Guarded without and pure within.”
– Newman’s Vespers for Sunday from Verses on Various Occasions