New Sherwood

Shallow religion

“We are cherishing a shallow religion, a hollow religion, which will not profit us in the day of trouble …
The age, whatever be its peculiar excellencies, has this serious defect: it loves an exclusively cheerful religion.
It is determined to make religion bright and sunny and joyous, whatever be the form of it which it adopts.
And it will handle the Catholic doctrine in this spirit … it will substitute its human cistern for the well of truth;
it will be afraid of the deep well, the abyss of God’s judgments and God’s mercies.”
Bl. John Henry Newman



July 18, 2013 - Posted by | Catholic Faith, Catholicism


  1. Certainly no more credible source than Newman. Do you happen, off the top, know where this is from?


    Comment by Thomas | July 19, 2013 | Reply

  2. Hello TSO! I believe Newman was referring to the Church of England in his day – which seems hopelessly austere in comparison with today’s mainstream Catholicism – in Sermon 9 of “Parochial and Plain Sermons”. See:


    Comment by Blogmaster | July 19, 2013 | Reply

  3. “I grieve to say, that the spirit of penitence does not keep pace with the spirit of joy. With all this outward promise of piety, we are suspicious of that which alone is its inward soul and life; we are very jealous indeed of personal strictness and austerity. We are alarmed at any call to national or personal humiliation and amendment; we like to be told of the excellence of our institutions, we do not like to hear of their defects; we like to abandon ourselves to the satisfactions of religion, we do not like to hear of its severities. We do not like to hear of our past sins, and the necessity of undoing them; and thus, however gay our blossoms may be in this our spring, we have a fault within which will show itself ere our fruits are gathered in the autumn.”


    Comment by Blogmaster | July 19, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks Jeff! I am surprised to see that way back then they had that problem. Very interesting.


      Comment by Tso | July 20, 2013 | Reply

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