John Henry Newman (1801-1890) was a man who sought to integrate life and holiness. He believed that the spiritual life needed to be lived in an active and dynamic way, touching a person's fundamental attitudes and actions.
Although Newman rejected the title of spiritual director as such, it is obvious from his correspondence that directing others through various facets of the Christian life was one of his dominant concerns. Surprisingly, comparatively little has been written about Newman's idea of spiritual direction. This book investigates Newman's understanding of spiritual direction during his life as a Roman Catholic, 1845-1890. It examines the major areas in which Newman gave spiritual direction through an analysis of the correspondence from his Catholic years. It also explicates those principles of Newman's own spiritual life that found expression in his direction of others.
Newman had a mammoth "apostolate of correspondence." His Letters and Diaries have been edited and published in a series of thirty-two volumes, embracing more than twenty thousand letters. The first ten volumes deal with Newman's Anglican period; the remaining twenty-two volumes cover his Catholic period and are the primary source for this book. These volumes have been studied chronologically in order to determine and extract the major areas in which Newman gave spiritual direction to others, and to investigate the stages of development in his spiritual advice.