Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The Catholic world lost a giant this weekend with the passing of Father Thomas Dubay, the famed Marist author and spiritual director who devoted his life to preaching the glories of authentic Catholic spirituality.
According to the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, DC, where Fr. Dubay spent his final days, he died at 4:45 a.m. on Sept. 26 after suffering kidney failure and massive bleeding in the brain.
“Father’s frail health had been declining ever since his admission to the Little Sisters of the Poor home in Washington more than a year ago,” the Sisters wrote, “but his suffering was even more noticeable in recent months. Despite this fact, Fr Dubay was just as witty as ever.”
During his stay with the Sisters, he conducted weekly classes for the postulants and continued his spiritual direction with many people either by phone or in writing.
“We can render prayers of thanksgiving for the wonderful support Father gave to religious communities spending a good part of his life giving conferences and retreats,” the sisters write. “Although his preaching and spiritual direction was delivered to contemplative communities, his teaching was not for them alone. Religious the world over benefitted of his spiritual wisdom and guidance for years. He will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace after leading so many souls to true spiritual peace during his lifetime!”
The last time I spoke with Fr. Dubay was while writing the Centering Prayer booklet in our Learn to Discern series. He spoke to me at length about the many subtle errors in this New Age prayer form, patiently constructing a rock solid rebuttal to the false claims being made by its purveyors. When the booklet was completed, he agreed to review it, even though it had to be sent to where he was preaching a retreat. As busy as he was, I had his stamp of approval on the work by the end of the week!
Fr. Dubay has authored at least 19 books that I know of, including some of my favorites such as Blessed Are You Poor, A Prayer Primer, and the classic Fire Within. The latter book gives one of the best contemporary treatments of the teachings of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross on authentic Catholic contemplation that I’ve ever read.
Aside from writing and conducting retreats, Fr. Dubay was also a frequent host on EWTN where he spoke about a variety of issues concerning Catholic spirituality.
He will be greatly missed, but the Lord has blessed us with his many writings which will continue to reveal the full glory of Catholic mysticism in an age that is in desperate need of rediscovering these magnificent truths.
Rest in peace, Father Dubay!
© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace® http://www.womenofgrace.com