Friday, January 28, 2005

Sometimes God seems so very far away....

So many people have prayed for so many things in their lives and seem to get no answers. We just 'celebrated' the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. How far away God must have seemed to so many in those camps as they watched everything taken from them... first their status as citizens, then their homes and businesses, then their freedom, then their lives, or their loved one's lives. All the while, so many held onto their Faith. Some lost it forever.

So many persecuted since then for race, religion. So many prayers sent Heaven-ward... so many in so many countries gone.... Sudan, Russia, and so many other places. So many prayers sent to Heaven for rescue, gone unanswered.

Prayers for miracles ... for intervention ...for survival...for a miracle.

So many left without an answer... hope continues, though... Faith is like that. Hope always holds .... tomorrow in its hand... a better tomorrow...

We who hope look for answers anywhere we can find them and remain faithful to our calling in life. We pray for healing, we pray for intervention.

But then sometimes, there comes into our lives an event that wipes out, even briefly, that hope.

God help us. Help Terri Schiavo... help those standing for healing in families.... where are you? You promised you would never leave nor forsake... we implore you to show your Mercy.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Patron Saint for those Condemned for Disability

Pass this man's name on to EVERYONE Catholic that you know, to ask him to intercede for Terri, and all of our disabled, please... He fought for people like her in Nazi the quotes from him in this article!!!!

Paris, France, Dec. 20 (UPI) --
The Vatican cleared the way Monday for the first German clergyman to be beatified for his courageous opposition against Nazi mass murder. In the presence of Pope John Paul II, the Congregation for Causes of Saints promulgated a decree linking a miracle to Cardinal Clemens August Count von Galen (1978-1946) who in 1941 publicly denounced Hitler's euthanasia program. Under this policy, some 70,000 retarded and incurably ill Germans weremurdered - or "given the coup de grace," as the Nazis called this euphemistically. On Aug. 3, 1941, von Galen thundered from the pulpit of St. Lambert's church in Muenster, which was his see:

"Woe to men, woe to our German people, if God's holy Commandment, 'Thou shalt not kill,' is not only disobeyed but if this transgression is also tolerated and goes unpunished."

Revered by faithful Catholics and Protestants alike as "the Lion ofMuenster," this tall scion of one of Germany's oldest noble families will probably be beatified during the pope's visit at the World Youth Day in Cologne in August next year. Monday's action officially acknowledged the miraculous cure of Hendrikus Nahak, a 16-year old Indonesian, whose life was threatened by a particularly dangerous form of appendicitis in 1995. He was healed after his nurse had called on Cardinal von Galen to intercede on the boy's behalf. The congregation cleared other candidates for beatification as well Monday, especially Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916) the famed French officer, explorer, Trappist monk and hermit. But von Galen's impending elevation to a state preceding sainthood is significant for a number of reasons. For one thing, his is a bold move to refute the cliché that Christian leaders did little to resist National Socialism. Bishop von Galen, who had chosen the Latin words, "nec laudibus, nec timore" (neither praise nor fear), as motto for his ministry, fully expected to be martyred. Before delivering one of the most powerful sermons in 20th-centuryGermany, he instructed one of his priests to take a change of clothing to prison should he be arrested. As it turned out, this did not become necessary because the Gestapo, Hitler's secret police, feared that the whole province of Westphalia would refuse to participate in the war effort should the Nazis lay hands on this popular prelate.

"After the war we'll break the churches' backs and get rid of the bishop of Muenster in the process," declared propaganda minister Josef Goebbels.

The Catholic Church has been almost hesitant in beatifying its own leading members of the German resistance. So far only one layman, Catholic labor leader and editor (1898-1945) was honored this way. Gross was beheaded in Ploetzensee prison in Berlin. The significance of von Galen's beatification goes beyond honoring his courage, though. Nikolaus GrossHis 1941 sermon had an ecumenical relevance far beyond of what was usual in his day. In countering Nazi cynicism by saying, "There is no such thing as life unworthy of living," he essentially joined forces with "Pastor Fritz,"Lutheran theologian Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, who was the head of Germany's most renowned institution for the mentally ill, also in Westphalia. Unlike von Galen, Bodelschwingh did not go public but saved many lives by quietly negotiating with Hitler's personal physician, Karl Brandt,and Prussian premier and air force chief, Hermann Goering.

In his sermon, von Galen himself pointed to the ecumenical dimension of his endeavors. He expressed his "highest respect for the courage of a Protestant pastor," meaning the Rev. Martin Niemoeller, who was incarcerated in Dachau concentration camp. Von Galen also interacted with and had a huge influence on one of the strangest Protestant characters in the German resistance. Moved by von Galen's sermon, Kurt Gerstein, a fervent Christian and a mining engineer, infiltrated the SS leadership and became one of the first to discover the systematic annihilation of Jews. Gerstein, also from Westphalia, tried in vain to pass this information on to the Western allies. After the war, he committed suicide (or was possibly murdered by Nazi inmates) in a French military prison, where he had been incarcerated because the authorities disbelieved his story. Later, though, his written reports about his observations in the SS and in extermination camps served as a key piece of evidence in the Jerusalem trial of SS Lt. Col. Adolf Eichmann, who implemented the"Final Solution" that aimed at the destruction of Europe's Jewry.

There is one further important point to von Galen's upcoming elevation: At a time when euthanasia seems to have become acceptable again in some Western countries - and when the abortion of fetuses diagnosed with Down's Syndrome has even become routine - the cardinal's dictum seems as relevant as 60 years ago:
"There is no such thing as life unworthy of living."

Labels: , ,