The Holy Father has left Great Britain and us with a great opportunity.
In his homily, he drew three lessons from Cardinal Newman's life and work. The first was that "in our day, when an intellectual and moral relativism threatens to sap the very foundations of our society, Newman reminds us that, as men and women made in the likeness of God, we were created to know the truth, to find in that truth our ultimate freedom and the fulfilment of our deepest human aspirations."
Second, he said Cardinal Newman's life showed how a passion for the truth and intellectual honesty are costly, and called for testimony. "In our own time the price to be paid for fidelity to the Gospel is no longer being hanged, drawn and quartered but it often involves being dismissed out of hand, ridiculed or parodied," he said, adding that the Church "cannot withdraw from the task of proclaiming Christ and His gospel as saving truth".
And finally, he said, Cardinal Newman teaches that "there can be no separation between what we believe and the way we live our lives". By praying and through the sacraments, the Pope said, "we draw people one step closer to Christ and His truth".
Pope Benedict then used Newman's mediation that "God has called me to some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another". Only Jesus knows what that "definite service" is, he went on; and he urged young people to "be open to his voice resounding in the depths of your heart: even now his heart is speaking to your heart."
"Ask Our Lord what he has in mind for you! Ask him for the generosity to say 'yes!' Do not be afraid to give yourself totally to Jesus."
Please continue to pray for the repose of the soul of Father Francis.