Dan Berrigan Catholic prophet

 

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Dan Berrigan, Jesuit priest, and Catholic prophet died Saturday just short of his 95th birthday.

For many of us, Dan put necessary flesh on the Jesus story, moved it into conemporary history as a force to be reckoned with. Not everyone followed of course. The culture had its way of bending us, in Augustine’s words making us “curvatus in se”, bent in ourselves.’ But after the Council (1962-65) the Bererigans,Dan and Phil, appalled at the Vietnam War, showed us the way of saying No especially to warmaking as a way of life, peacemaking as the way of Jesus.

Dan had a pixie-like way about him, great sense of humour. In 1981, this prize-winning poet wroie 10 Commandments for the Long haul

1) Call on Jesus when all else fails. Call on Him when all else succeeds (except that never happens).

2) Don’t be afraid to be afraid or appalled to be appalled. How do you think the trees feel these days, or the whales, or, for that matter, most humans?

3) Keep your soul to yourself. Soul is a possession worth paying for, they’re growing rarer. Learn from monks, they have secrets worth knowing.

4) About practically everything in the world, there’s nothing you can do. This is Socratic wisdom. However, about of few things you can do something. Do it, with a good heart.

5) On a long drive, there’s bound to be a dull stretch or two. Don’t go anywhere with someone who expects you to be interesting all the time. And don’t be hard on your fellow travelers. Try to smile after a coffee stop.

6) Practically no one has the stomach to love you, if you don’t love yourself. They just endure. So do you.

7) About healing: The gospels tell us that this was Jesus’ specialty and he was heard to say: “Take up your couch and walk!”

8) When traveling on an airplane, watch the movie, but don’t use the earphones. Then you’ll be able to see what’s going on, but not understand what’s happening, and so you’ll feel right at home, little different then you do on the ground.

9) Know that sometimes the only writing material you have is your own blood.

10) Start with the impossible. Proceed calmly towards the improbable. No worry, there are at least five exits.

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1 Comment »

  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    Beautiful tribute Ted!

    Chris

    >


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