Remembering Harvard's chaplain: Gergen on Gomes
Rev. Peter J. Gomes in 1999, at a celebration marking his 25th anniversary at Harvard's Memorial Church.
March 2nd, 2011
11:03 AM ET

Remembering Harvard's chaplain: Gergen on Gomes

By David Gergen, Senior Political Analyst

The death of the Rev. Peter Gomes, as a colleague told me yesterday, is Harvard’s loss and heaven’s gain. Over three and a half decades, Peter became the embodiment of spirituality at the university, imparting to generations of students that their purpose was not to make a living but a life.

To Peter, the meaning of Easter is not about life after death but about the life you lead before death - that Jesus called upon his followers to live life "abundantly." And that Peter did every day, inviting others to join him not only in serious talk but in hearty laughter.

"The ultimate weapon," he wrote, "in the face of evil or sorrow, sadness or death, is not stoic virtue and the stiff upper lip but laughter, for where laughter is, God cannot be far away."

There is no laughter at Harvard today: sadness is everywhere. We have lost a national treasure. But in years to come, we will tell our grandchildren stories about Peter, his deep friendship and his twinkle, and we will smile again, knowing he cannot be far away.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Death • Leaders

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. zzzzzz

    aye and you are classless

    March 2, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  2. Justina

    He would have taught gays to repent and change the sinful lifestyles if he were a Christian. (Luke 18)

    March 2, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • zzzzzz

      very nice to say about a dead guy justina

      March 2, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Justina

      Whether alive or dead, wrong is wrong. Read Matthew 5:19, 18:6.

      March 2, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • marysbaby93080

      The truth is the truth. You can't call yourself a Reverend, or even a Christian , if you don't live by the Word of the Man you say you serve.

      April 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  3. NuWinePress.com

    Because of him, publishing Gay Christian Publishing companies like NuWine Press exist today. He was a pioneer in a wilderness that needed – and continues to need – pioneers. Thank you Rev. gomes.

    March 2, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  4. JP


    March 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  5. Anglican

    We all benefit from men and women like Rev. Gomes. May he rest in peace.

    March 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  6. RF

    Very well put. A huge loss of a great man.

    March 2, 2011 at 11:43 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.