Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
On the question of relating to our fellowman - our neighbor's
spiritual need transcends every commandment. Everything else
we do is a means to an end. But love is an end already,
since God is love.
Edith Stein. A Jewish woman, she converted to Roman
Catholicism, and became a Carmelite nun. She was killed
at Auschwitz. On this date, 1998, she was canonized as a
saint in the Roman Catholic Church.
Authentic “saints” always transcend boundaries. In modern times, the Carmelites, at the powerful pressure of Pope John Paul II, were allowed to build a convent near Auschwitz. Jews worldwide objected ….. and in my view rightly so. It was clearly a political move on the part of the Roman Catholic Church, designed to use a Jewish convert for propaganda. Shame. If the Roman Catholic Church were being faithful to Edith Stein, they would have understood her words that our “neighbour’s spiritual needs transcends every commandment”, and recognized that it was contrary to Love to deflect the World’s attention from the horror of the Holocaust for the Jews. And I say this as a Gay man and a Christian, many of whose Gay sisters and brothers suffered at the hands of the Nazis.
Jesus said, “Love one another”. Because to experience God is to know that God is Love. And Love is never restricted by partisan religious politics. Love can have no conditions. Love erases Self, and all of Self’s petty self-interests.
This is what the Christian Church needs today: the renunciation of partisan dogma and self-preservation in order to be faithful to the self-renunciation of Jesus. Jesus did not die for the “salvation of Christians”; He died for the gathering of all people, through the power of Love, into the Community of Compassion and into the one family of Love.
“Our neighbour’s spiritual need transcends every commandment”. Do you think that if we followed this path, the Christian or any other religious community would decrease?
No. We would envelope the World in Love.