In a poignant article published in First Things, TCA’s Grazie Pozo Christie revisits the steps of St. John Henry Newman on her visit to Oxford. As she renumerates his willingness to shed the comforts and prestige of his world to honor his newfound Catholic faith, Christie challenges us to examine whether each of us could demonstrate the same courageous faith in our own lives today.

Christie writes of his dilemma when St. John Henry Newman came to realize what converting to Catholicism would involve. No more teaching at the pinnacle of high society. No more esteem from colleagues, friends, even family members. “There was nothing to do but the unthinkable: leave idyllic Oxford, and in that leaving, lose the fragrant meadow-walks at dawn, the esteem of the public, the prestige of his position, the affection of his friends, the regard of his family.”

Newman spent the remainder of his days living in modest circumstances in an impoverished village, recognizing his life would be a sort of exile from all the comforts and prominence he had once known, but willing to do so for his faith. Dr. Christie leaves us to ponder a similar scenario in our lives. What would we do if faced with a choice like St. John Henry Newman’s?

As she so aptly describes, we must ask ourselves the same question. “Do I stand ready to quit the pretty places and comfortable settings of my life? Am I prepared to lose the esteem of others? We must hold the comforts of our lives lightly. And we certainly can’t let them hold us. We are meant to seek truth, and when we find it, follow it wherever it leads.”

Read Dr. Christie’s full article here.