It is difficult now to imagine the condition of Catholics in the England of 1850 when, after three hundred years, the Catholic hierarchy was restored. Catholicism was reckoned an alien thing, unworthy of free-born Englishmen, full of superstition and tyranny and the suppression of free enquiry and intellectual dignity: the vehicle of Antichrist. Newman eloquently outlines this situation, and argues that it is no more than a Christian should expect: this was what was promised to the first disciples. Yet we, like Peter, are called to step out of the boat and walk towards Christ: so we should know that our fears, like his, are groundless. Jesus will take our hand and keep us safe; at his word, the storm will cease and the waters fall.
Today, we may not recognise the situation that Newman saw in 1850; but it does not take much imagination to apply what he said then, to the surely analogous challenges Catholics face now.