Into Extra Time: Living Through the Final Stages of Cancer and Jottings Along the Way.
This insightful book, Into Extra Time, contains the powerful reflections of Fr Michael Paul Gallagher SJ which he wrote down during the final months of his life following a diagnosis of cancer.
‘Never has faith seemed so real. This is not out of fear (as some atheists might suspect), but out of a discovery of the quiet reality of God with me in all this.’
While undergoing several cycles of chemotherapy and ultimately passing into palliative care, Fr Michael Paul documented his physical, psychological and spiritual journey in a diary which is included in the book alongside other notes and insights. Into Extra Time also contains two theological essays: on death and on concern for unbelief.
‘I am, dare I say, enjoying God with me in this strange space. There is huge freedom at times, and of course a shrinking into small fears at times too. Each day has its lights and shadows, its pendulum from yes to no. But the ‘no’ is always weaker, provoked by some lack of energy or vision. The ‘yes’ music returns, not as joyful acceptance but as quiet readiness unalone.’
The whole book is a remarkable testament to the life, intellect and spiritual sensitivity of a much-loved author, theologian and priest, which offers light to others looking for guidance in times of struggle.
Fr Michael Paul Gallagher SJ wrote several books on faith and contemporary culture, including Faith Maps, Clashing Symbols and Dive Deeper. Fr Michael was a lecturer in modern literature at UCD (University College Dublin) before going to Rome where he was rector of the Bellarmino College and professor of fundamental theology at the Gregorian University. He passed away in November 2015.