Thursday, June 9, 2016


Wm. McNichols

EGIDE van BROECKHOVEN, was a Belgian Jesuit who died in 1967 at 34, crushed by a steel plate at the factory where he worked. Over a period of ten years he wrote down spiritual comments about his day. His diary has been published in several languages, and offers a wonderful example of what a Spirit-filled life can look like in the midst of a normal working class life. He worked along side the poor and the needy, convinced that was where God wanted him to be and where he found his true vocation as a priest. In that work he discovered that  friendship was at  the core of our life, starting with friendship with the Lord Jesus.

He felt that a deep friendship between two people would have God meeting them in the middle and that true friendship has an important sacramental value. For him friendship was an opportunity to find God, for as the relationship deepens it should become more sacred, mystical and intimate, a place where we find all we seek.

From this perspective, Egide shows us a good initial working definition of spirituality as the ability “to transform trivial things into an experience of depth.” ..the difference between a spirituality based on an ascetic flight from the world and one centerd on the world lies in our incapacity to comprehend God’s breadth and depth” (Journal I, 73).

Egide, a mystic in the true sense of the word, established strong relationships with fellow workers and neighbors, who were first suspicious of a young priest wanting to work and relate to them.

The God of above, the God of beyond, the God of immense spaces, loves all human beings; the efficacious sign of this love is the realization of his word: the Good News is announced to the poor people. The immense breadth of God’s love has incarnated itself in Christ and in his will to save us all; this love is expanded by the evangelization of the poor: a sine qua non condition for the Church to continue unfolding Christ’s life, in its breadth, length, and depth, as a space where the deep sea, more powerful than the divine Ocean, can move and give life to all creation with the living Life of God (Journal XXI, 51).

As far as I can find, nothing of his life has been translated into English.

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