“In almost all his homilies,” he continued, “Pope Francis talks about ‘the battle’ people face between following the crucified and risen Christ and ‘falling prey to negativity, cynicism, disappointment, sadness, lethargy’—and the temptation of the ‘dark joy’ or complaining about others.”
“In the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, who founded the Jesuits, and has ‘Rules for the Discernment of Spirits,’ sowing pessimism and despair is ‘the modus operandi of the enemy,” Father Blaszczak added.
Father Blaszczak, who might be described as a “priest of fierce gentleness,” shares with the past and present Francis a fascination with all God’s creatures. One of his favorite memories is that of giraffes, frolicking on the steppes of Kenya.
Happy anniversary day, Fr. Blaszczak!
William Van Ornumis professor of psychology at Marist College and director of research and development/grants at American Mental Health Foundation in New York City. He studied theology and scripture at DePaul University.