In New York for WFB’s 80th birthday dinner last week, I stayed in a guest room in Fr. George Rutler’s rectory at the Church of Our Saviour at 38th and Park. (Fr. Rutler is of course the unofficial chaplain to this happy Corner.) On the bedside table, I found a prayer card entitled “A Meditation by Cardinal Newman” (I also found the memoirs of Lady Airlie, lady-in-waiting to Queen Mary, but that only demonstrates the endless and delightful eccentricity of my host’s taste).
On this day of Thanksgiving, I offer the words of John Henry Cardinal Newman:
God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place while not intending it—if I do but keep His Commandments.
Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me—still He knows what He is about.