WHEN A FRIEND CROSSES THE BAR . . . A Jesuit funeral sermon, February, 2000

Sanctifying grace . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

Pat preached. He had two points to make, he said, “before I get to Peter.” Peter was the deceased, his friend of 49 ½ years, since the two of them entered the Jesuits. Pat’s two points were that he stood on “holy ground” there in the retirement center for Jesuits of eight upper Midwestern states and that their suffering (as sick, invalided, dying) was “salvific.”

This “salvific” is related to “terrific” in its ending. The s-a-l-v part is related to “salvation,” as of souls. If something is salvific, it makes for, contributes to salvation of souls. It’s a Latin-word-turned-English, a staple of the course on divine grace – God’s gift to people that brings them around to (a) straight-and-narrow-path behavior and (b) everlasting life.

If you knew the vocabulary, as the Colombiere Center congregation did, you got Pat’s message: Pete, stricken with polio 45 years earlier, had not wasted his…

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