A tribute to Fr. Thwaites

Fr. Sean Finnegan has a fine tribute to the late Fr. Hugh Thwaites, SJ, who died recently.  Here is how Fr. Finnegan’s piece concludes:

There are so many of us who owe Fr Hugh so much. I will never forget him and the lessons I learnt from him. Especially:

1) That hell is real, and a greater possibility for us who are pastors of the Lord’s flock.
2) That all souls are created in the image and likeness of God, and have equal value.
3) That prayer is much more than the acquisition of a technique; it is not something one has to be ‘good at'; it is something one simply must do.
4) The importance of the rosary
5) The importance of acquiring the virtue of humility.

I feel I want to close with the customary ‘May his soul rest in peace’. But, like Cæsar Baronius after the death of St Philip Neri, there is something that sticks in my throat about it in this instance. I have already begun to ask his prayers, and have already begun to receive an answer in one case……

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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3 Responses to A tribute to Fr. Thwaites

  1. GregH says:

    Father Z,

    What do you think of Father Thwaites opening line to priests on retreat: “Most priests go to Hell…”

    [I think that is very likely.]

  2. GregH says:

    Father Z,

    Why is that? In your years of priestly experience is there something you can point to that would support such a negative viewpoint?

  3. mamajen says:

    I assume priests are under assault from the devil more so than most people. They also have much more responsibility, and more power (which could go terribly wrong). So, I guess the statement about hell is not nearly as radical as it initially seems, but it is very very sad. I never really thought about this before. It helps me understand why it is so important to pray for priests instead of criticizing them, or assuming the good ones don’t need our help. They have taken on so much for our sake, much like Jesus did.