Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
The author of the Living Space commentaries, Frank Doyle, an Irish Jesuit priest of the Chinese Province, died on Saint Patrick’s Day 2011. After some years working in Ireland, Frank had returned to Asia in 2010, undertaking work as a spiritual director in Manila. His requiem took place in Saint Ignatius Oratory, Loyola House of Studies, Manila on 22 March. Ar dheis Dé go raibh sé. May he be on God’s righthand side.
The text of the homily delivered at his funeral can be read here, courtesy of Mark Raper SJ, President of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific.
The vocation of every human being, most especially of every Christian, is to reproduce the image of the Son of God, to be ‘conformed to the image of his Son’, who is to be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. This is the heart of the prophetic experience of being a religious. This is the life that Frank Doyle lived as a religious, a life of spirituality, a life of community and a life of mission. Read the full homily
On Christian death
We recall Frank’s commentary on Christian death, offered on Wisdom 2:23-3:9 – Tuesday of week 32 of Ordinary Time – First Reading:
In practice, when people die – even good people – it does not, on the surface, look like that. “To the unenlightened they appeared to die, their departure was regarded as a disaster, their leaving us like an annihilation”. Even when good and saintly people leave us, it is regarded as a tragedy and a blow not only to us but to them. “What did they do to be taken away like this?” But, where the truly good are concerned, the reality is quite different. In fact, in death “they are at peace.” It is not only that all negative elements have been removed from their life but that they are in a state of security and total happiness under the protection of and in their intimacy with God. As the Third Eucharistic Prayer reads in speaking of the dead: “There we hope to share in your glory when every tear will be wiped away. On that day we shall see you, our God, as you are.” Their death seemed like a form of punishment, the denial of the gift of life but, in fact, “their hope was rich with immortality”. For a Christian, faith is coupled with hope, a confident hope of being one day reunited forever with Christ our Lord. That hope is for immortality (in the Greek, athanasia).
The messages of appreciation below are testimonies to the help that Frank’s writings have been to so many. These comments were offered on the occasion of Frank’s stroke in February 2011.
We are glad to continue to make Living Space commentaries available on this part of Sacred Space, remembering the generosity with which Frank offered them.