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Heart to Heart
A Cardinal Newman Prayer Book
by John Henry Newman
Publisher:Ave Maria Press from Alban Bks
This is a welcome reprint of the compilation from Blessed John Henry Newman's writings by Father Daniel M. O'Connell, S.J., published in 1938, with a new 'Foreword' by Professor Cyril O'Regan. This anthology of Newman's poems, prayers, reflections and meditations 'stresses the connection between true faith and right behavior.' (p. xix). The language is formal yet personal and one realises how close to and comfortable he was in the presence of God.
The 'Contents' are divided into nine sections ('Holy Trinity', 'Our Lord's Sufferings' and Stations of the Cross, 'Risen Savior', 'Holy Ghost', 'Eucharist', 'Blessed Virgin', 'Purgatory', 'Confession' and 'Saints') and one should be able to find a particular piece through the Indexes of 'First Lines' and 'Titles'. There are also suggestions for Morning and Evening Prayers and 'Selections by Seasons of the Year'.
It is good that, unlike some collections, Newman's own words have not been 'updated' or 'modernised' ('You' for 'Thou' etc.).However, 'American spelling' has crept into the text (e.g. 'Savior' (p. 77), 'favors' (p. 245)) but in an inconsistent manner (e.g. 'vigour' (p.142), 'Saviour' (p.137))! Also, Newman was more than just 'influential' in the founding of the Oratory in Birmingham (p.267).
With the wider availability of his writings, it is a pity that full references could not be given to each text, if only so that one may read the complete Sermon or find the context in 'Apologia pro Vita Sua'. This would have enhanced what is a great Prayer Book.
The typeface is comfortable, and the book fits into a large pocket.
Reviewer: J.Nicholas Latham (16/07/12)