Pedro Arrupe – in love with God
Brian Grogan SJ, who has published ‘Pedro Arrupe SJ: Mystic with Open Eyes’ with Messenger Publications, spoke to Pat Coyle about the life of the former Father General whose case for beatification has recently been opened.
Fr Grogan felt privileged to have met Arrupe several times. He particularly remembered meeting him in Rome in 1981, when he was invited to visit him before being missioned to Somalia with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). “He stuck out his skinny hand and waved it at me and said ‘Go!’ Fr. Grogan said it was the most dramatic missioning I’d ever come across! And a great support to me in dark times.
Arrupe believed in working for justice while promoting faith, a stance that led him to be imprisoned in Japan, under threat of execution. Arrupe’s stance on working for justice also lead to further deaths and threats amongst Jesuits, in particular in el Salvador, Arrupe spoke with the worked who held firm and he told the authorities that the Jesuits were not going to leave – that they they would not “betray the gospel”.
The book also refers to the time when Arrupe responded to the horror of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima when he lived there with his Jesuit community. “He used his desk as an operating theatre… he saved the lives of a number of people.” . He believed in “changing the hearts of people” to avoid the further atrocities of war.
“For him, Christ was everything, and to be in love with God was a natural mode for him.”