Fr. Thomas H. Green, SJ: 1932-2009

He was never my mentor, at least in the classroom, and occasionally, I only opening-to-godhad a glance of him or a casual greeting along the corridors of Loyola. Typical of tempered souls, there was some lightness in his gait and smile even if his eyes projected some probing seriousness. He got a PhD in Physics afterall.
But without having him as our classroom mentor, it was as if we had known Fr. Green, the 20 of us Novices then, and the fire that keeps burning in his heart – directing souls to God. Paragraph by paragraph, even word by word, we were assigned to masticate and digest the spiritual food that his slim book Opening To God had laid on the table of our souls. We have to read the book within the context of our regular prayer times, and so Fr. Green had become a household name. I don’t have the book at hand otherwise I could have retrieved the pages I was assigned to discuss before my Novitiate community. I don’t remember the details but when one Jesuit mentioned in his tribute about praying as floating in the sea, as letting go, the metaphor suddenly became more vivid to me.
The book was written for those thinking of beginning to pray, lay or religious. But Fr. Green was wise enough to admit that everyone from time to time recoils to the fundamental simplicity of prayer – that of opening to God like a plant basking in the sunlight. Find time to be still, open yourself to the presence of God and the rest is waiting. If one can love, then one can wait. Nothing extraneous. The beauty of this slim book is parallel to the academic legacy of William Strunk Jr. who tagged his classic grammar book The Elements of Style as the little book: “Omit needless words!” Opening To God, it seems, is becoming a spiritual classic on its own that even the Basilian Fathers in their official website has listed it as one great read in modern spirituality alongside Ronald Rolheiser’s The Holy Longing, Eckart Tolle’s Practicing the Power of Now, Henri Nouwen’s The Return of the Prodigal Son, Brother Lawrence’s Practice the Presence of God, and Richard Rohr’s Simplicity.
Fr. Green bade goodbye before Good Friday. But the Easter mooring of his passion that many readers had anchored upon – his writings – remains steady and dependable as if he is just a shore away. Thank you, Fr. Green.

FR. THOMAS H. GREEN, S. J. died on Friday morning, March 13, at San Jose Seminary. He entered the Society on 7 September 1949 and was ordained a priest on 19 June 1963. Requiescat in pace.

22 thoughts on “Fr. Thomas H. Green, SJ: 1932-2009

  1. Kapatid, thanks for this post… I have encountered Fr. Green’s book during college as a suggested reading in my RS 3 subject. Unfortunately, I was not able to read it…

    Will check out the book at NB…

    Just a note, was surprised that the Basilian Fathers included Eckhart Tolle in their list….

  2. minsan ko na ring nakadaupang palad ang mga libro ni Fr. Green….isa sa mga paboritong kong basahin ….may his soul rest in peace!

  3. Yes, Fr. Green is a spiritual sparker. Oo nga – kasama si Tolle sa listahan. I haven’t got hold of the book but i know that Oprah made him popular.

  4. Got the email kapatid. Hehe, typical nga siguro sa mga contemplatives, mas mahaba ang oras sa pananahimik kay sa pagsagot sa mga emails.

    Blu, ang galing galing ng mga pagninilay mo in Tagalog…Yung enteng bote, ang galing ng pagkahabi…

  5. It is a blessing to be able to share God’s words with the the humanity and to be able to encourage others to pray. Sana’y dumami pa ang Fr. Green sa mundo.

    Nakita ko sa mesa ng propesor ko ang aklat na ‘yan ni Fr. Green noong ako’y nag-aaral pa ng Teolohiya, subalit hindi ko pa ‘yan nabasa.

    Nakakatuwang na-encounter mo rin pala ang Elements of Style. Napangiti ako. Dahil ang Bibliya at ‘yan lang ang nasa ibabaw ng mesa ko sa ngayon, katabi ng computer ko, habang tinitipa ko ang comment ko na ito🙂. Kabibili ko lang kaya blue na ang cover nito. Yung dati ko kasi na beige/yellowish ang cover ay nahiram at hindi na naisoli😦

  6. studying from a Jesuit university, sikat si Fr Green and my brother (yung pari) lahat ata ng books ni Fr Green meron siya pero everytime I start reading it, di ko natatapos… My heart wasn’t into it or im just afraid that it might wake something inside me im not yet prepared of…

  7. Pingback: Ang “kultura” sa amon talipusuon: (draft) « EXODIANS

  8. Pingback: Ang kulturanhon sa amon nga talipusuon part 2 « EXODIANS

  9. Padayon na ang paglupad;Paglupad aron isabwag ang balita; nga iyang nakita; Sa disyerto sa pagtoo.

    Tag: Fr. Thomas Green, S.J.

    May purpose nganong ato ni syang gikopya: OK lang man siguro di ba?

    Food for thought:

    The book was written for those thinking of beginning to pray, lay or religious. But Fr. Green was wise enough to admit that everyone from time to time recoils to the fundamental simplicity of prayer – that of opening to God like a plant basking in the sunlight. Find time to be still, open yourself to the presence of God and the rest is waiting. If one can love, then one can wait. Nothing extraneous. The beauty of this slim book is parallel to the academic legacy of William Strunk Jr. who tagged his classic grammar book The Elements of Style as the little book: “Omit needless words!” Opening To God, it seems, is becoming a spiritual classic on its own that even the Basilian Fathers in their official website has listed it as one great read in modern spirituality alongside Ronald Rolheiser’s The Holy Longing, Eckart Tolle’s Practicing the Power of Now, Henri Nouwen’s The Return of the Prodigal Son, Brother Lawrence’s Practice the Presence of God, and Richard Rohr’s Simplicity.
    Fr. Green bade goodbye before Good Friday. But the Easter mooring of his passion that many readers had anchored upon – his writings – remains steady and dependable as if he is just a shore away. Thank you, Fr. Green.

    FR. THOMAS H. GREEN, S. J. died on Friday morning, March 13, at San Jose Seminary. He entered the Society on 7 September 1949 and was ordained a priest on 19 June 1963. Requiescat in pace.

    He was born on March 19, 1932.

    Salamat!

  10. Nortehanon: Yes, sana’y dumami pa ang Fr. Green sa mundo. I do have a copy also of the little book edited by Charlotte’s Web author E.B.White. So much to learn always from little things.

  11. Miel: “My heart wasn’t into it or im just afraid that it might wake something inside me im not yet prepared of…”
    You’re one of the very honest bloggers i’ve known Miel and I’m always impressed by such depth…

  12. dito ko lang nalaman na wala na pala si Fr. Green, He was one of our guest speakers during our Spirituality Forum…he’s a holy person…very deep…i’m sure secured na sya sa pupuntahan nya…

    add kita kapatid sa blog ko…

  13. Hello po! Ngaun ko lang po ito nabasa..

    I just want to say, i have a copy of his book, Opening to God. Binigyan po ako ng kopya ng isang Jesuit scholastic nung bumisita ako last April sa Loyola House. Nagsstart ko palang pong basahin kasi madami po syang binigay na books sakin kaya isa isa muna, hehehe..

    Thanks for posting this. Godbless po!

  14. Haha – Brother Jorge, napansin ko, paiba ng paiba na ang mga binabasa mo ngayon. Basta nguyain mo lang talaga…Blessings Brother…

  15. Kagabi ko pa si Fr. Thomas Green, SJ nabanggit sa aming Christmas party sa church dito sa Gingoog City. ang sabi ko nga ay, ” I think, if i am not mistaken, it was ST. Thomas Green who said in his book, ” if you believe that you have the Holy Spirit in you, then give an advice…” sory, akala ko talaga na siya ay isang Santo, dahil sa matitinding spiritual reflections ang na i contribute niya sa church faithful. But, his writings are deeply inspiring for a sinner like me.

  16. It’s a worthwhile thing just as the scriptures said “to worship your crator in the days of your youth”. The intellectual property of T.H Green sj as condensed in his work “opening to God” has done much work on people’s understanding of prayer, even beyond fr. Green’s imagination. currently, in the book i ‘m about to publish on prayer “the art of prayer”, his ideas were highlighted and also referenced in the bibliography. I wish him eternal rest in the bossom of the lord. mike, Lagos, Nigeria.

  17. Worship your Creator in the days of your youth..
    O my dear ones, what a timely beautiful advice

    with tears in my70 year old eyes, I beg to heed this advise..

    how I wish I had know Father Tom.. It is only now that I am reading his books and came upon this site.

    so please tell your friends
    Worship your Creator in the days of your youth and always

    it will make all the difference in your life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s