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Sunday, March 17, 2013

What was it like ...

to be a Jesuit priest in Argentina during the mid-seventies? Franz Jalics commented on this in a past book he wrote on contemplative prayer. An article at The Daily Beast has some excerpts ....

[...] Jalics’s humble little book is not an exposé like Verbitsky’s, it is not a smear, and it does not read like a lie. I bought it on Thursday morning in the “spirituality” section of a store run by nuns a couple of blocks from St. Peter’s Square. Its title is Contemplative Retreat: An Introduction to the Contemplative Way of Life and to the Jesus Prayer.

Only six of the book’s 332 pages deal with Jalics’s experiences in 1976 and what happened to him afterward, and he tells the story as an example of the power of contemplation, the importance of forgiveness. The entire grim experience, he claims, was a source of “purification.”

He and Yorio were living at the edge of the slums of Bajo Fores in Buenos Aires. They were theology professors at different universities. Many of their students were joining the guerrillas, but the priests wanted to demonstrate that it was possible to take up the cause of the poor without resorting to violence. In those days, such distinctions usually were lost on generals and their sympathizers, so the priests needed staunch defenders in the church hierarchy. They didn’t find them ....

4 Comments:

Anonymous Richard said...

What a story! Franz Jalics sounds like a very interesting man. I hope we hear more from him. Wonder if the Pope was thinking of him when he took his name?

3:11 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Yeah. I see that he's made a statement recently .... http://www.jesuiten.org/aktuelles/details/article/erklarung-von-pater-franz-jalics-sj.html

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Thanks! I thought I might have to dig up my High school German II text book but google was kind enough to provide a passable translation. Google scares me some times:)

10:33 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

My college German wasn't up to the task either ;)

1:36 PM  

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