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Friday, July 30, 2010

Prayer: Timothy Healy, S.J.

Once or twice in 450 years we have made the dream come true; in the Paraguay reductions, in the battle against Jansenism, in John Carroll’s Georgetown, in the Vatican Council’s canonization of the work of John Courtney Murray. The dream came swiftly true for the six men teaching in El Salvador who died last November because they fought for human dignity. It also comes true for most Jesuits, I think, in quiet classrooms and corridors where, by being ourselves, we bear witness to how many strange tools a patient God can make use of. Jesuits share the Christian insight that only for God is truth a noun. For the rest of us it’s an achingly unclosing verb.

Let me tell one last story, this time a personal one. Almost 30 years ago one of the great Jesuits of my time, Edwin Cuffe, S.J., sat with me on a baking night near Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where we were both teaching a summer course to young Jesuits. The only antidote to the heat of the evening was a cold beer, and indeed we applied the medicine several times. In the course of settling the world’s other problems, we came to the conclusion that the most interesting enterprise on the earth was the Church, and that probably its liveliest corner was the religious order we both shared.


  1. Where did you find this? I first came across it years ago and have been trying for a while to locate the original text, but without success.

    Joe K sj

  2. Joe K, I found it in a book called "With Christ on Mission" that is used in Australia. It is a book that was sponsored by the New York province when Ken Gavin was provincial. Would you like more of the book details?

  3. John,

    I know the book you mean, and I should be able to lay hands on it - thanks for the info!