Saturday, April 21, 2012

Transcending Self

Here are a few excerpts that struck me from the well-known and greatly accomplished Lonergan scholar's, Fr. Frederick Crowe's, funeral homily, delivered by another great Lonergan scholar, Fr. Robert Doran. Thanks to His Grace, Archbishop Prendergast for forwarding it on to me.

I'll explain in a moment why I excerpted them:

I don’t think this trusting openness to the new and the unexpected came easily to Fred. I think he arrived at his boldness, which, however bold, was always faithful to the teaching of the church, through struggle with his own insecurities and propensity to anxiety. It was in that struggle that he found the Lord: the Lord who had called him into religious life in 1936, the Lord who had led him to work with one of the great theologians of the past century and preserve his work, the Lord who had inspired him to be the example of humble service and dedicated labor that he was to all of us over so many years...

Again, Fred was able to be so inclusive of his brothers and sisters of other religious traditions and communities, not because he was naturally pre-disposed  in this way but because he believed the Lord’s words that in the Father’s house there are many rooms.

The reason why I thought it so apropos to quote these excerpts was not only because of their intrinsic excellence, but because of the theme that I have adopted on both thetheologyofdad and the SCCB in the last few days, that of the 'sword' of theology, for lack of a better word, that is to say, the condemnatory function that theology sometime has to play. These excerpts exemplify the other side of theology, the side of the theologian transcending his personal defects, prejudices, small-mindedness, his psychological limitations, for sake of following the truth wherever it leads. That is a theologian's burden, and I can greatly admire anyone who allows the Spirit to break down his walls. I see it occasionally in people, in theologians, who allow themselves to be "overtaken by revelation."

May the soul of Fr. Crowe enjoy the light of Christ now and forever.

- The first installment for St. Anselm's feast. -


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