15 July, 2014

Engage world with Catholic principles - Politics & Policy - News - Catholic Online

Engage world with Catholic principles - Politics & Policy - News - Catholic Online

1 comment:

  1. Every human life is precious. Not by virtue of the fact that we can become Catholic or adapt Catholic principles or any other particular religious principles. Not by virtue of the fact that one is ; female or male ; heterosexual or gay; married or single or any other particular attribute. Not by virtue of the fact that ones perception and sense of moral value is different or better or more or less than another's. But by a universal, fundamental and beautiful capacity to become ever-increasingly human.


    Etty Hillesum








    Etty Hillesum, a young Dutch Jewish woman, was arrested by the Gestapo, and eventually died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz in 1943. Between 1941 and 1943 she wrote a journal and some letters which were published as the book "Interrupted Life".

    Etty had no training in any particular religious tradition. She had lived a life of friendships, infused with a love of literature, and had lived a remarkable encounter with a psychotherapist, a disciple of Jung. Remarkable then, her spiritual journey towards union with God, a journey which took place amid the world of atrocious suffering which was the Dutch concentration where she was held. With her there were sometimes as many as ten thousand Jewish men, women and children awaiting the trains which would carry them to Auschwitz.

    In her letters and journal, she speaks of her experience of God. She does not cry out to God in anger, nor does she beg God for help. Rather she reveals a God who waits patiently at the door to our hearts for us to invite Him in and to give us His peace. The sole desire of Etty was to help each person discover that he or she is "a dwelling place of God".


    And I promise you, yes I promise you, my God, that I shall try to find a “home” and a roof for you in as many houses as possible. There are so many empty houses, where I will bring you in as guest of honor.
    Etty Hillesum, september 1942


    By "coming to terms with life" I mean: the reality of death has become a definite part of my life; my life has, so to speak, been extended by death, by my looking death in the eye and accepting it, by accepting destruction as part of life and no longer wasting my energies on fear of death or the refusal to acknowledge its inevitability. Through non- acceptance and through having all those fears, most people are left with just a pitiful any mutilated slice of life, which can hardly be called life at all. It sounds paradoxical: by excluding death from our life we cannot live a full life, and by admitting death into our life we enlarge and enrich it.
    Etty Hillesum, The Diaries, 3 July 1942

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