During her last Discernment retreat in the Philippines before leaving for her mission assignment in Britain in 2010, Gertrudes C Samson,Co-ordinator of Columban Lay Missionaries come across the following text in the form of a bookmark.
She bought the bookmark and turned the text into a prayer which she prays often. She explains she finds the words very useful, comforting an reassuring. “I did not know a lot about Cardinal Newman before coming to Britain but when I arrived in Birmingham, I discovered that he was a former Cardinal of Birmingham and was declared blessed by Pope Benedict earlier that year. On 13th October 2019, he was canonised a Saint by Pope Francis.” She adds, “Blessed John Henry Newman was a prolific and gifted writer. These particular words have guided me spiritually and enabled me to understand the purpose of my vocation in times when I’ve encountered struggles.”
Some people might say, finding the bookmark with the writings of Cardinal Newman from Birmingham where she would be going to do mission is coincidence. To Ger she believes that it is God’s will, a way of confirmation and affirmation of her calling to do mission in Birmingham!
God has created me to do Him some definite service.
He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission.
I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for naught.
I shall do good; I shall do His work.
I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.
Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away.
If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him.
If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.
He does nothing in vain.
He knows what He is about.
He may take away my friends.
He may throw me among strangers.
He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me.
Still, He knows what He is about.
St. John Henry Newman, pray for us!
The Mission of My Life, Cardinal St. John Henry Newman