A man deeply in love with God

July 26, 2022 in Featured News, News

Pedro Arrupe: A Heart Larger than the World (Messenger Publications) » tells the life of Pedro Arrupe SJ (1907-1991), the 28th Superior General of the Jesuits whose cause for beatification was introduced in 2019. Well-known author Brian Grogan SJ shows the central role Arrupe played in the Church of the twentieth century including his role in implementing the decrees of the Second Vatican Council and the renewal of Jesuit life and mission for the world.

Arrupe’s experiences as a first responder at Hiroshima when the atom bomb fell there in 1945, his promotion of a spirituality that looks for and finds God in the everyday, and his founding in 1980 of the now-global Jesuit Refugee Service all stemmed from and nourished his vision and enthusiasm for humankind. His successor was prompted to declare, ‘He no longer belongs to Jesuits only. He belongs to the whole Church: indeed, he belongs to the whole world.’

Gavin Thomas Murphy of Irish Jesuit Communications recently read the book. He comments:

“Brian Grogan does a terrific job in helping us to appreciate the power of God that coursed through Pedro’s life and mission. He gently and passionately points to gripping events such as Pedro’s encounter with people in the slums of Madrid during medical studies, his immersion in Zen while in Japan, his challenging relationships with Popes, his complete surrender into the hands of God after a devastating stroke, and so much more.

Most importantly, Brian invites us to accompany Pedro so that we too can fall in love and stay in love with God. We too can get in touch with ‘a heart larger than the world’ and find strength and consolation in the messiness and discomfort of life.

The eight-day mini-retreat at the end of the book helps to integrate some of the profound insights of Pedro. Brian also quotes Canadian philosopher-theologian Bernard Lonergan SJ in the postscript whose words relate to Pedro’s faith and spirituality.”

Lonergan writes:

Our capacity for self-transcendence becomes an actuality when one falls in love. Then one’s being becomes being-in-love. Such being-in-love has its antecedents, its causes, its conditions, its occasions.

But once it has blossomed forth, and as long as it lasts, it takes over. From it flow one’s desires and fears, one’s joys and sorrows, one’s discernment of values, one’s decisions and deeds.

It is thought that readers will find inspiration and encouragement in this book from a man who exemplified Ignatian spirituality in his concern and active care for the vulnerable and needy in the world, his refusal to despair when faced with opposition or perceived failure and his profound trust in God’s providence.

Brian Grogan SJ is a former president of Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin, and is Emeritus Associate Professor of Spirituality. A best-selling author, he has devoted most of a lifetime to mining and circulating the rich treasures of Ignatian spirituality.

Pedro Arrupe: A Heart Larger than the World by Brian Grogan SJ is published in Ireland and the UK by Messenger Publications. Priced at €19.95/£18.95.