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Take Five: Meditations with John Henry Newman Paperback – August 25, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"Newman provides a model for so many different kinds of Catholics. He did what love required." --Scott Hahn

About the Author

Mike Aquilina is executive vice president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. He has written or edited more than twenty books on Catholic history, doctrine, and devotion, including the best-selling What Catholics Believe.

Father Juan R. Velez, a former physician, wrote a doctoral dissertation in theology on the writings of John Henry Newman. He is the author of a forthcoming biography on

Newman. He lives in Southern California.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor (August 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592768008
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592768004
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.5 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mike Aquilina is author or editor of more than thirty books, including The Fathers of the Church, The Mass of the Early Christians, and A Year with the Church Fathers. He has co-hosted eight series that air on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). He has co-authored books with Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., and theologian Scott Hahn. He is past editor of New Covenant magazine and The Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper. He appears weekly on Sirius Radio's "Sonrise Morning Show." Mike and his wife, Terri, have six children, who are the subject of his book Love in the Little Things.

In 2011 Mike was a featured presenter of the U.S. Bishops' Diocesan Educational/Catechetical Leadership Institute. He also wrote the USCCB's theological reflection for Catechetical Sunday in 2011.

His reviews, essays and journalism have appeared in many journals, including First Things, Touchstone, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, National Catholic Register, and Catholic Heritage. He contributed work on early Christianity to the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought.

Mike is a also poet whose works have appeared in U.S. literary journals and have been translated into Polish and Spanish. He shared songwriting credits with Grammy Award-winner Dion DiMucci on the forthcoming album "Tank Full of Blues."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Kende on September 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Take Five: Meditations With John Henry Newman
As the mother of four young adult children, including one still in college, I am constantly seeking spiritual material succinct enough to fit into their busy schedules but powerful enough to inspire them on their journeys. Five minutes a day is all that is needed to empower all who read this thought-provoking and very complete collection of reflections that provide the most essential food for the spirit. While most of John Henry Newman's writings may not be addressed to the general public, this soon-to-be beatified man's work should be more widely known. This compilation of Newman's reflections combined with key scripture verses is accessible to all readers. Every one of the 76 meditations are special, but the ones that my own children liked best were: "The Soul's Happiness" (mere knowledge kindles no love); "The World Is Too Small to Satisfy Us" (reminding our children that in an overly materialistic world, only God can satisfy our deepest longings); "Check Your Emotions" (Newman urges the use of reason to take prayerful control of our passions and emotions); "What Are You Looking For" (seeking only wealth, power, pleasure or comfort will never fully satisfy our spirit that yearns to know Christ); and "Life Without God" (helping others to know God's joy and grace while not allowing dark corners in our lives to remain without the light of the Spirit). The "Think About It" section at the end of each meditation challenges the reader to quietly and prayerfully seek God's response in their own souls. I will encourage each of my children to begin the day with one of Newman's kernels of wisdom, confident that those few minutes in prayerful reflection will initiate a conversation with God and sustain them all day long.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ilow M. Roque on September 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
"There is a time to put direct inquiry on hold and give ourselves to prayer and practical duties." Sound advice from one of the earlier, thought-provoking reminders in this sparkling gem of a book: Take Five | Meditations with John Henry Newman, written by Mike Aquilina and Fr. Juan R. Vélez and published by Our Sunday Visitor. This particular paragraph, referenced above, which begins with a direct quote from soon-to-be canonized priest, cardinal and poet, John Henry Newman: "Study is good, but it gets us only so far . . ." is actually the 15th in a series of 76 concise, logically organized meditations moving from the elementary to the sublime. Each meditation--one per page--is built upon the great man's writings and remarkably rich spirituality. Whether taken whole in one reading or in part page-by-page over a course of weeks and months, these wonderfully insightful meditations will open up, even to the busiest reader in the midst of the world, a unique pathway into prayer and contemplation. My advice to spiritual inquirers at all levels, from the novice to the spiritually adept, is to follow the authors' recommendation to use this book as a guide for daily prayer and meditation. The structure of the book itself is ideal: first, the authors introduce us to Cardinal Newman, the man, where we are given the opportunity to get to know him through a brief sketch of his life and spirituality at the beginning of the book. This is something readers will likely find themselves referring to again and again, prompting many, I suspect, to even wider explorations of this most gifted Christian leader.Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P. Forrester on September 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
John Cardinal Henry Newman was a convert to Catholicism. I too am a convert from a zealous Protestantism to Our Beautiful Catholic Faith. I read several of his books on my journey into the Catholic Church (Development of Doctrine and Apologia Pro Vita Sua). This little pocket-sized book of meditations will help me pray with a Saint. I am so excited already even though I have only started to read it.
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Format: Paperback
I approached "Take Five: Meditations with John Henry Newman" knowing very little about this recently beatified Cardinal. I finished it wanting to know much more. Cardinal Newman was a "teacher, editor, administrator, and clergyman - and he still found time enough to write books that have been profoundly influential in the fields of theology, philosophy, history, and fiction." "Take Five" begins with a short biography of Newman's life, from his education and life as an Anglican to the reasons for his very public conversion to Catholicism. It then offers 76 short reflections. Each one features a short excerpt from Newman's work that focuses on a given theme. A few key points are highlighted in "Think About It" which is followed by a quote or two from scripture and a take-away statement to remember.

Newman's wisdom focuses on how to incorporate faith into everyday life. His words ring true and are very relevant over a hundred years after his death. This little book provides much food for reflection and offers a wonderful introduction to Newman's thought.
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