Daily Prayers for Lent from CPLO and the Jesuit Institute 22 March – Week Three – Every good intention can be subverted

Lenten Prayer Reflections by Ron Boudreaux SJ

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. (Pascal, Pensées, 1670)

How is it that violence and the sacred can be so closely connected? Réné Girard and others have written extensively on the human capacity to demonize “the other”, the one who is different, the one of a different colour, the one from a different tribe. And so often it is in the name of religion. It has happened between Protestants and Catholics, between Whites and Blacks, Gays and Straights, between Sunnis and Shiites.  Now we see it happening where Islam and Christianity come into contact.  Perhaps, however, it is not so much the religious conviction but rather the distortion or misinterpretation of religious principles that leads to violence.  This happens when people allow passion to replace reason in public discourse.  This happens when we dare to use God to justify our desire for violence.

O Lord, let your peace become ours as we struggle sometimes in accepting those who are different. 

Let our knowledge of you never bring discord to this world. 

Teach us to practice your peace.


Fr Ron Boudreaux SJ
MS (U. of Colorado), MA (Loyola U., Chicago), MDiv (Jesuit School of Theology in Berkley, California)

Fr Ronald J. Boudreaux SJ, hails from Louisiana, U.S.A. Born in the small town of Scott, he graduated from the University of Southwest Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) with a BA in French, minors in English and Spanish. Fr. Boudreaux entered the US Army Security Agency in 1968, studied Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and served as a Russian linguist in Germany until his discharge in 1972. Fr. Boudreaux received his Masters Degree in Architecture from the University of Colorado in 1987. After entering the Society of Jesus in 1997, he went on to study philosophy at Gonzaga University and Loyola University Chicago. He received a Masters in Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkley, California in 2005. Fr. Boudreaux served as retreat master at Montserrat from the fall of 2006 until the summer of 2010, when he was missioned to his tertianship studies at Weston, Massachusetts. During that time he ministered with the Jesuit Institute of South Africa in Johannesburg. Fr. Boudreaux returned to Montserrat in July 2011 and currently serves as superior to the Jesuit community and Director of Montserrat.

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