I approached this year’s Lent with a determination to deepen my interior life. And Newman’s Tears of Christ was the perfect companion to journey with me through Lent, helping me to know myself better and contemplate Jesus’ suffering more deeply.

As a brief introduction to this book, Tears of Christ is a small collection of sermons by St John Henry Newman, designed to take you on a contemplative journey day-by-day from Ash Wednesday, all the way to Holy Saturday.

Every meditation hit my soul in some way, Newman certainly doesn’t shy away from honest criticism of the human soul. His writings are uncompromising, challenging, but most of all, they are intricate. St John Henry Newman knows how to take the most trivial matter of modern life and link it back to our Lord Jesus on the Cross. His writings added a Divine dimension to even the most menial aspects of my day. Most of all, I found this book extremely conducive to mental prayer. The Tears of Christ has become my Lenten staple for having a fruitful and holy penitential season.

This is not to say that Lent 2024 was difficult, it most certainly was, and will probably come down as one of the most challenging ones I’ve experienced so far, but this book put all my sufferings (and failings) into perspective. For the first time in my life, I felt the true meaning of Matthew 11: 28 – 30.

 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Throughout the season of Lent, The Tears of Christ invites its reader to gaze upon the beauty of the Cross, and our Loving Christ hanging upon it. This book made my Lent 2024 so much more meaningful. Every moment of suffering, struggle and even failure was given some Divine meaning. The Tears of Christ was an encouraging read kept me going, pushing me, to carry my own cross to Good Friday.

Newman’s sermons are the perfect blend of formation and contemplation. With each meditation was a new fact of knowledge to take, as well as a new way to think about human nature. From the “Duty of Self-Denial” to understanding the “Mental Sufferings of our Lord in His Passion”, Newman delivers a sobering diagnosis of the human condition, proving further why we must cling unto Grace during this life on earth. Though the Easter Season has already dawned, I highly recommend this book to every Catholic seeking to deepen their interior life during Lent.

Reviewed by Elisha Andres – Veritatis Publishing

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