One of Gandhi’s favorite hymns was “Lead Kindly Light,” with the refrain, “I do not ask to see / The distant scene; one step enough for me.” The words were by the Victorian priest John Henry Newman, who will be canonized this month as a Catholic saint. A good opportunity to recommend our volume in the Modern Spiritual Masters Series, John Henry Newman: Spiritual Writings.
There are also new books to announce this month, including journalist Peter Feuerherd’s The Radical Gospel of Bishop Thomas Gumbleton. Gumbleton, for 38 years the auxiliary bishop of Detroit, is one of the clearest examples of a Christian leader who has embraced the radical peace message of Jesus. Apart from his prophetic witness for peace he has been a consistent advocate for the poor, for victims of clergy sex abuse, for the LGBTQ community, and for promoting the role of women in the church.
Faith and Evolution: A Grace-Filled Naturalism by Roger Haight, a Jesuit theologian, is a profound work on the dialogue between faith and science. Ursula King observes of his work: “It sings the praises of creation filled with divine presence and love; it describes the ambiguities of darkness and light at the core of human existence, and it celebrates a strong Christology in an evolutionary context.”
In a similar spirit cosmologist Brian Thomas Swimme has produced an updated and expanded version of his classic Hidden Heart of the Cosmos: Humanity and the New Story. In a lyrical and inspiring reflection on the immensity of our universe and its story—which is humanity’s story, too—Swimme invites us to inhabit the cosmos in all its beauty and mystery.
As Newman recalls, though “The night is dark, and I am far from home,” may we all take one step, and then another, in faith and hope.
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