Edith Stein · Holocaust

You have to start somewhere…

 

Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don’t dare express themselves as we did.

Sophie Scholl, German Anti-Nazi Activist, executed by the guillotine for treason against the Nazi regime

As I watched the interview I was so desperately afraid to see, I couldn’t help but recall the words of Sophie Scholl I had read just days earlier in a book recommended by my dear blogging friend Julie over at cookiecrumblestoliveby. The book, A Noble Treason, has been a tough read, especially after reading the book Julie first recommended, At the Heart of the White Rose, Letters and Diaries of Hans and Sophie Scholl.

You may be wondering what letters and diary entries of a gentile German girl who resisted Hitler and his reign of terror have to do with an interview I taped for EWTN on my conversion. At first I couldn’t put the two together either. But as I put A Noble Treason down for several days and watched myself recount the story of my conversion last night, I remembered how hard it was to be a Jewish person who loved Christ. I remembered what it was like, especially in the beginning and even before then. When so many people and things I loved went away, when Christ was all I had, and when the most hurtful of comments came, Don’t you remember the Holocaust? Certainly you have forgotten your people.

It was especially hurtful for me to think for one second that Jewish people really believed I had abandoned my culture and heritage and had somehow in loving and embracing Jesus become an anti-Semite. Although I didn’t discuss it on the show, Anne Frank was an integral part of my spiritual development and I still have not been able to go into the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC for complete fear of collapsing from sheer and utter grief.

Out of all of the things that hurt the most during the process of my conversion, this by far had to be the worst. I have read and studied more Holocaust books than I can count and have grappled with why the Holocaust happened for many years.

I was reminded of the controversy surrounding Edith Stein’s canonization- while Catholics hailed her a martyr and the Pope made her a saint, Jews called her a coward. Often times when I read and re-read the many books I have acquired on her life, I am reminded of the theme of controversy that surrounded her conversion. Between her family and  her people,  I imagined the pain in her heart in her final walk into the gas chamber at Auschwitz knowing that many would never understand. This is what she wrote in her last testament (1939):

I ask the Lord to accept my life and death for His honor and glorification, for all concerns of the most Holy Heart of Jesus and Mary and the Holy church, especially for the sanctification and completion of our Holy Order, particularly the Carmels of Cologne and Echt, for the atonement for the unbelief of the Jewish people and in order that the Lord may be accepted by his own [people] and that His Kingdom come in magnificence, for the deliverance of Germany and world peace, the destruction of the Antichrist, and finally for my relatives both living and dead and all whom God has given me: that none of them may be lost.”

And herein lies the offense, that she sacrificed her life as an offering for the unbelief of the Jewish people. This caused quite the stir. It is difficult to discuss the unbelief of the Jewish people without a Jewish person taking offense, and rightfully so. Christ was the Jewish messiah called to fulfill the law and the prophets, His own people rejected him while He was here on this earth, and continue to reject Him. And in that same rejection of Christ, they reject Edith, and… me.

And I think of Sophie Scholl’s words… somebody had to do it, who was going to do it? And I know exactly what they mean. There are so many other Jewish women who I know read my words and are moved to know this “Christ” but cannot move because they wouldn’t dare to be ostracized from the very community to which they belong. I get it because I have lived it. That is the cost of following Christ, the cost we must count before we begin our journey with Him.

I pray that somehow, some way my words and my story would move the heart of my people, the people of Jesus, the people of God. I pray that God used me in some way to open wide a door, to breakdown a wall or simply to clear up a misconception. I cannot count myself a martyr as Sophie Scholl or Edith Stein were, but I do see that God chose me, He chose US to make a start.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “You have to start somewhere…

  1. God is good my sister. I write as I feel moved by the Spirit. After last night, I do not feel afraid anymore to speak the truth, after all, someone’s got to make a start 😚 Love to you

    Like

  2. I saw you last night and you were wonderful, Melissa. The first thing that crossed my mind, “She has grown so much in her faith and in herself, since I first met her and we emailed some years ago.” You have. (By the way I have you recorded!) 🙂

    I want you to remember something, regarding your post. All of us, each and every single one of us, have converted “from” something. We have all lost friends and some in our families for doing so. I was lucky that my family was okay, however I did lose a twenty year friendship. My “best” friend, and many more.

    You are a Jew, and as you know I am part Indian. My ancestors had many trials and tribulations just as yours did. I was a Protestant, you were of the Jewish faith. Both of us had to let go of it all, to become and to go, where Christ was calling us to go. Many others have suffered the same things.

    All we can do is like you did last night. Tell our stories, the struggles, but also tell how in the end, “It has all been worth it.” You did a great job of doing that on “The Journey Home.” That is what Sophie Scholl and Edith Stein did in their deaths. They let the world know, “Jesus is all worth it.”

    As them in the “conversion process,” parts of us die. These parts die, because we lose loved ones, we leave behind friends and family, and we live our lives as Catholics, as it is not just a “religion” to us. It is our life. I could see in your face last night, “Jesus was all worth it to you.” God Bless, SR

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have no idea why you haven’t been popping up in my feed… when I realized it that’s when I found you again! Yes doing the show was a huge step for me but it really brought me back to my day of reckoning so to speak with God. I needed it, I was in a not so good place…

      I love what you said, you always have such a way with words. Yes, it was all or nothing for me, as I have always lived my life that way. I am ALL IN.

      Love to you my friend and so glad we reconnected.

      M

      Like

  3. I missed last night so I’m planning of Friday’s showing….!!!!
    I do appreciate the shout out, but what I most appreciate Melissa…not looking back, is your journey.
    All you can do is to continue living your faith…and know that Jesus knows, if anyone does, of your struggles—a Jew, a prophet, a believer… even a Savior has not been accepted by those at “home”
    So look not back, but rather look forward…to those waiting open arms!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I so appreciate my journey! You better watch it as you have a significant role in it! I wasn’t sure if you were ok with me mentioning you by name so I referred to you as “my blogging friend from Georgia” lol.
      Yes definitely no looking back. I am at peace…
      Love you-
      M

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You know Melissa I was thinking about Scripture and your post today. You know there are very few people in the Bible when God called them that did not have to leave family, friends, and the place where they lived. Some never saw their family again. Even Joseph and Mary had to take Jesus to Egypt for three years. When Jesus was in His ministry I do not know how much He ever saw our Blessed Mother. Mother Teresa never saw her family again when she entered the convent as did many of the Saints. I guess as I think about it, that is what it truly takes to serve God. We have to be willing to give it “all” up. It is not to say He calls each and every one of us to do so, we just have to have the willingness. Your post and what you said on the show, just made me think about that.

    As far as the feed, are you still following my old blog livingtherealityofjesus. If you are delete that one out and follow my new one. Another person had trouble with it and after she deleted my old blog out, I showed up. God Bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes maybe that’s what it was. I’ll check again and make sure you’re popping up.
      I think you’re right. We are all called to a certain extent to leave people and places behind.
      For me, that vow that I took was serious. I remember the scene in the bible when Paul talks about vows, and I have read every scripture that discusses them. I knew what a commitment that was when I said those words and that is why I always go back to it. I know the meaning if vows to God and the ramifications for them as well. I was ready and so that promise binds me to Christ, and now to our Blessed Mother. The words I spoke although unknown to me at the time were scriptural, from the Psalms. It was good to hear me reminding myself about that vow, that promise, as none compares to the glory of Christ. The pain is good, it has made me strong in Him.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry if my mind is not the clearest. Didn’t eat much today, but managed a glass of merlot….

    I read you post, and It reminds me of St. Paul’s angst for his Jewish kin. He seeks to make them jealous! See Romans 10 -11 esp 11:14.

    The Jews hold the promise of the world’s Salvation and yet do not recognize the day of their visitation…. Hmmm…

    I personally do not share your angst at that level. But I think you are in good company. Those of us Messianic Gentiles that attend closely to St Paul find it in him too. And feel it with him and with you.

    May God move in a way we can all take some comfort in….

    God bless you…

    X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, that is such a lovely observation. I realize I am not alone in my yearning for my people. I haven’t talked about it publicly at all, mostly out of fear. But I realize that God has given me a truth to speak, so I walk ahead…

      God bless you my friend!
      M

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Up until now, I have been a technical blogger. I just started a personal, Christian blog to build ideas for my first book “Free Indeed: How God and I escaped the reins of a legalistic cult.” I would like to borrow Sophie Scholl’s quote in my first blog post. Is that okay with you?

    Thanks,
    Jason

    Liked by 1 person

What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s