Resources: The Oratorian Mind

[We] are speaking of the uncontroversial and undogmatic character of the Oratory; a characteristic of it which is certain, and yet which needs explanation…It is very true that controversy has formed very little part of the Oratorian literature at all…such controversy, as can fairly take place among Catholics, does not belong to the Oratory…To take part in disputed questions, however sacred and important, though a good and necessary work, is not the mission of the Oratorian…There is a far greater tendency to misunderstandings, jealousies, irritation, resentment and contention, when the mind has not been cultivated or what is called enlarged, than when books and the intercourse of society and the knowledge of the world have served to put things in their true light, to guard the mind from exaggeration, to make it patient of differences, and to give it self-command amid differences of opinion and conduct. I do not mean to say that the virtues I have mentioned are necessarily Christian – but they are Christian in a Christian – When a Christian mind takes them up into itself they cease to be secular, they are sanctified by their possessor, and become the instruments of spiritual good. And their advantage is undeniable…the influence of a liberal education and the experience of life [enable] the mind to be at once calm yet observant and versatile.

(Bl John Henry Newman 1848)

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