Home | About | Donate

Bearing the Cross (On the LIfe and Death of Daniel Berrigan)


Bearing the Cross (On the LIfe and Death of Daniel Berrigan)

Chris Hedges

NEW YORK—I arrived early Friday morning, after walking through the rain, at the St. Francis Xavier Church in Greenwich Village for the funeral of the Rev. Daniel Berrigan. I stood, the church nearly empty, at the front of the sanctuary with my hand on the top of Dan’s rosewood casket. It was adorned with a single red carnation and a small plaque that read: “Rev. Daniel J. Berrigan. Born May 9, 1921. Entered S.J. August 14, 1939. Ordained June 21, 1952. Died April 30, 2016.”


The sign in the above picture says it all; Father Daniel Berrigan restored our humanity by his love.


Thank you for the tribute, Mr. Hedges.

Inspired persons like the Berrigan brothers honor what Christ came to teach. Such a legacy lives on as it must.


Thank you, Chris Hedges, for your article, and for giving another opportunity to mourn his death and celebrate his life: the resurrected life that he lived, for anyone who had eyes to see, and that he still lives, even in our midst.

I recall these lines by William Blake:
"And we are put on earth a little space
that we may learn to bear the beams of love . . . "

I remember reading that Fr. Berrigan was said to have died of "natural causes." That´s one way of looking at it. As so many have testified, Fr. Berrigan´s life told another tale, indeed proclaimed it loudly: living the cross of Christ (bearing the beams of love) was rather the natural cause of death for any Christian. Such an one may have to suffer a thousand deaths during his or her "little space," but then to celebrate, as with Dan, a thousand resurrections. And so, though we may not see him with the same eyes as those with which we saw him before, may we always say, Father Daniel Berrigan--Presente!


Thank you Chris Hedges for this architectural celebration of the beams celebrated by Dan Berrigan and his comrades in arms (linked and in hugs).

"They tried to bury us but they didn't know we were seeds." Mexican Proverb


Love the quote.


“The good is to be done because it is good, not because it goes somewhere” and, unfortunately, the work and sacrifice that Berrigan and other reformers accomplished have gone nowhere, and could never go anywhere, in the capitalist system. Any reform under capitalism that lessens the profit of the ruling elite is only temporary and will be taken back as soon as possible.

Of course for Christians this life matters not when compared to an eternal life in heaven. The good have always done good but the powerful rule by having no moral or ethical restraints and feel that they can buy their way even into heaven. But like Berrigan there are many Christians who do a lot of good and should be honored for their acts.

As a socialist and an agnostic I believe that only the destruction of capitalism can bring any real change. Anyone who takes on the system is my friend but only those who want to destroy capitalism are my comrades.

“A change is coming. I can feel it.” Hedges is not alone in this feeling. But the suffering, sacrifice and death ahead will continue to go nowhere unless capitalism is destroyed.


Chris Hedges is at his most moving and influential when not trying to be, as in this highly personal tribute to a great soul.


I never had the honor to meet Father Daniel Berrigan; but from what few things I know of him, he was one of the few people who lived a life of "walking the walk": he did the real works of Jesus, as much as any person could while still struggling with his own humanity. A true Christian, not in words but in his daily life.
Father Berrigan, you lived a life all of us should aspire to live. Walk with Jesus, because you did his work while here.
God bless you.


Dan provided ... definition of religious faith:

“The good is to be done because it is good, not because it goes somewhere,” he told me. “I believe if it is done in that spirit it will go somewhere ...I have never been seriously interested in the outcome. I was interested in trying to do it humanely and carefully and nonviolently and let it go.”]

I think that sums up agape - true Christian love.

The power of stories like this is that they enable in us a rebirth of values often forgotten in the midst of ideologies that bombard our senses and hide our soul. I read this article by Hedges with gratitude.


This is a great piece. Thank you, Chris Hedges, for writing it.


A lovely and moving tribute, Mr. Hedges.
In the lines,

"For we are sick at heart
Our hearts give us no rest for thinking of the Land of Burning Children …
We say: Killing is disorder
life and gentleness and community and unselfishness
is the only order we recognize …
How long must the world’s resources
be raped in the service of legalized murder?
When at what point will you say no to this war?"

I couldn't help thinking about the on-going, casual murder of young Palestinian boys, girls women and men. And these killings with the full and fervent support of the governments of Canada and the U.S. We still need a Daniel Berrigan to speak against the slaughtering of innocents.