Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

“Come, Sanctifier, almighty and eternal God”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/09/04 at 12:00 AM
Be a eucharistic soul! If the centre around which your thoughts and hopes turn is the Tabernacle, then, my child, how abundant the fruits of your sanctity and apostolate will be! (The Forge, 835)

I was talking to you about the love of the Blessed Trinity for man. And where can we see this more clearly than in the Mass? The three divine Persons act together in the holy sacrifice of the altar. This is why I like to repeat the final words of the collect, secret and postcommunion: “Through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord,” we pray to God the Father, “who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”

In the Mass, our prayer to God the Father is constant. The priest represents the eternal high priest, Jesus Christ, who is, at the same time, the victim offered in this sacrifice. And the action of the Holy Spirit in the Mass is truly present, although in a mysterious manner. “By the power of the Holy Spirit,” writes St John Damascene, “the transformation of the bread into the body of Christ takes place.”

The action of the Holy Spirit is clearly expressed when the priest invokes the divine blessing on the offerings: “Come, Sanctifier, almighty and eternal God, and bless this sacrifice prepared in honour of your holy name” — the holocaust that will give to the holy name of God the glory that is due. The sanctification we pray for is attributed to the Paraclete, who is sent to us by the Father and the Son. And we also recognize the active presence of the Holy Spirit in this sacrifice, as we say, shortly before communion: “Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the will of the Father, with the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, by your death have brought life to the world…” (Christ is passing by, 85)


Edith Stein: A Historical Perspective – Host: Fr. Charles Conner

In 15 Audio on 2015/07/10 at 12:00 AM


Please copy and paste this Url to access this file:   http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=6102&pgn
1. Edith Stein:An Historical Perspective Part 1
Host – Fr. Charles Connor eshp1.mp3
2. Edith Stein:An Historical Perspective Part 2
Host – Fr. Charles Connor eshp2.mp3


In 13 History on 2015/06/05 at 12:00 AM

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Sr. Audrey Gerwing (a Catholic Sister of Sion) writes of the experience she and Sr. Marge Zdunich had this summer.

“Marge and I began our pilgrimage to Poland long before we ever left Canada. We spent many hours preparing, reading, talking and discussing what we wanted to see and experience in our time in Poland. All the prep work bore much fruit in the 10 days we were in Poland.

We began in Warsaw where we followed the paths of the Jewish People from the beginning of their life in Poland and ending with the death of over 500,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. There really was NOTHING to see–nothing was left standing; it had all been destroyed by Hitler and his henchmen; not a stone was left upon stone. So we had to do our own investigation and searching. It was like trying to find the needle in the hay stack–only the hay stack had been removed! The Ghetto of 1940 was huge and ran the entire north – south of Warsaw covering over 2.4% of city of Warsaw; small by any modern standards and yet contained over 400,000 Jews. After much walking in and out of small streets, and corners we finally found plaques that revealed some of the important places in the ghetto such as Mila 18, the last stand of the resistance ghetto fighters, the “umshlaplatz” where the Jews were rounded up and put on transports, one synagogue that had been restored since then. And finally we found the old cemetery dating back from the 12 th century. In this cemetery there were many tombs for those who died in the ghetto.

From Warsaw we went to Krakow where we spent 4 days with Sion and then went to Auschwitz and Berkenau the largest death camps during the war. I cannot adequately describe these camps…the electrified fences keeping people in and others out….the hundreds of packed barracks, the smell of which must have been something akin to rotten fish…..the killing walls where prisoners were summarily shot mostly to keep people in fear of even thinking of escaping or rebelling….and yet the rebellion was visible – so visible that the letter ‘B’ on the entrance to A was upside down. We walked for hours and never came to the end of the camps. The second day we were there we did the way of the cross at A-B with a friend of Marge and mine. It was the right way for us to be there – as Christians asking and seeking forgiveness….praying for the women who were martyred there…being crucified just for being Jewish, or Polish or a resister….the largest cemetery in the entire world is here; and for me, in the end, the resurrection came in the form of a gentle breeze that accompanied us along this journey; a gentle breeze that was so refreshing in the heat of the day; a gentle breeze that seemed to say to us: we are the Ruah of God, we are the breathe of God breathing new life into this place. We who have been martyred are with The Holy One forever – this place is not the last word. We finished with saying Kaddish for all those who perished there – Jews and non-Jews.“


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Sisters of Sion Dynamic Movement of the Holy Spirit #25

Pascal sowed, Oznam watered, God gave the increase, and Nagai and Japan reaped.

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/06/09 at 8:40 AM

The thoughts of Blaise Pascal had a tremendous impact on the spiritual life of Takashi Nagai, the Japanese radiology pioneer,  nuclear scientist, convert and survivor of the atom bomb, who is venerated in Japan as a saint. Nagai was introduced to Pascal by a fellow academic, the Sorbonne Professor,  Frenchman Frederick Ozanam.

Nagai was impressed by Ozanam told him of his encounter with Andrè Ampère , the mathematician/physicist  discovered of electomagnetism.  praying on his knees in a church in the slums of Paris. Ozanam  had said to him: “Professor, I see you believe in prayer.”  Ampère replied: “Everyone has to pray.” Now Nagai understood Pascal’s words: “Don’t just study the Scriptures, pray them. . . . Only in Christ can the paradox of man’s wretchedness and his greatness be solved . . . living for the glory of God.”  Nagai came to see that it is prayer that gives vision, and that the mystery that is God, cannot be grasped like mathematics and science.  Takashi would become Japan’s Pascal.

From then on Nagai lived what he wrote with his brush: “The Son of God has graciously brought me to Nagasaki so that I can work for the Father’s glory.”  And, indeed, he did just that amidst the horrors of the atomic devastation in which he saw God’s Providence at work.

At the Requiem Mass for the eight thousand Catholics who died at Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, Nagai used hansai, the Japanese word for “holocaust”:  “The Christian flock of Nagaski was true to the Faith through  three centuries of persecution. . . . It prayed ceaselessly for a lasting peace.  Here was the one pure lamb that had to be sacrificed as hansai on His altar . . . so that many millions of lives might be saved. . . . Was not Nagasaki the chosen victim, the lamb without blemish, slain as a whole burnt offering on an altar of sacrifice, atoning for the sins of all the nations”  during the  war?  Nagai quoting Jobe said: “The Lord has given; the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord”, adding  Let us be thankful that Nagasaki was chosen for the whole burnt sacrifice!”

In a split second thousands had been killed, but even more had been injured and poisoned.  A victim of over-exposure to radiation through research, Nagai suffered from leukemkia.  However, this did not deter him from working and writing books that consoled  and healed his devastated people. He would say: “Our lives are of great worth if we accept with good grace the situation Providence places us in and go on living lovingly. . . . If all of us accept ourselves as we are, it is absolutely certain that a day will come when we can see how God’s plans have been accomplished, and precisely through our weakness. . . . If you make the vital decision to live humbly and lovingly, you will live fruitful lives and be happy.”

Takashi Nagai’s heroic and selfless sacrifices made him revered by his nation and his Emperor who came to visit him in his hut.  Famous people from the entire world came to visit the dying saint. His visit with Helen Keller confirmed his belief that suffering accepted gracefully purifies the human heart, and the experience of physical blindness sharpens spiritual vision.

If these culled thoughts and citations about Takashi Nagai have inspired you in light of Japan’s recent tragedy, please read A SONG FOR NAGASAKI by Paul Glynn, S.M. Ignatius Press.


(See also post by that title in Book Corner.)