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Angels of Light

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Published : August 14th, 2019
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Category : Crisis Watch

Even in times of inhuman ugliness and epic greed, so pervasive as to seem to overwhelm us, it is good to remember that love is moving, always moving among us.   And that even today we are called, by a word or nod of a stranger, or a sudden impulse from our own hearts,  to forsake the dark powers of this world, and accept His will as our own, and thereby reaffirm life.

I have often highlighted such as these here on these pages, because they are a light for us in troubled times.

The world and its servants will hate them, and slander them, these angels of light.  Because they mark out for us a holy and more certain path, with a powerful light that shines down through even the darkest corridors of history.

"Upon her recent passing at the age of 76, I took the opportunity to reread Bubby's memoirs.  In four different instances, my grandmother had stood—amid the smoke of the crematoriums, the barking dogs, the trampling boots and swinging clubs—on the infamous selection line at the head of which Mengele and his minions stood, pointing left and right, sentencing some to back-breaking labor, and sending others to the gas chambers. 

In each of those instances, somebody would come along and say or do something that would change Bubby's fate from certain death to tenuous life. In one such incident, she already had been sent to the line of those marked for death when a man appeared as if from nowhere, physically removed her from that line and shoved her into the other, without saying a word.

Indeed, the miracles and the mysteries of the events of those days abound along with the horrors and the tragedies. In contrast to the vile actions of the 'Angel of Death' were the noble and heroic actions of many 'Angels of Life' who stood ready to risk their own lives for the sake of saving that of a stranger.

It is thanks in no small part to 'angels' like these, who stepped out from behind their own misery and grief to come to the aid of others, that generations now live on to tell the story. How clearly we see the infinite ripple effects of single acts of kindness and compassion, even if accomplished in a split second."

Yossi Refson, Angels of Light

"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.  They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”

Viktor E. Frankl

“If you can feel that staying human is worth while, even when it can't have any practical result whatsoever, you've beaten them.”

George Orwell

"Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.  We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love one another.  Anyone who does not love is in thrall to death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer.  And you know that no murderer has life eternal residing in him.

This is how we know what love is: the Lord laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material plenty and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Little children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth."

1 John 3:13-18

"Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish Franciscan friar, provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland, including 2,000 Jews whom he hid from Nazi persecution in his friary in Niepokalanów. He was also active as a radio amateur, with Polish call letters SP3RN, vilifying Nazi activities through his reports.

On February 17, 1941 Kolbe was arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned in the Pawiak prison, and on May 25 was transferred to Auschwitz I as prisoner #16670.

In July 1941 a man from Kolbe’s barracks vanished, prompting SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Fritzsch, the deputy camp commander, to pick 10 men from the same barracks to be starved to death in Block 13 (notorious for torture), in order to deter further escape attempts. One of the selected men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, lamenting his family ["My poor wife! My poor children! What will they do?"], and Kolbe volunteered to take his place.

During the time in the cell he led the men in songs and prayer. After three weeks of dehydration and starvation, only Kolbe and three others were still alive. Finally he was murdered with an injection of carbolic acid [14 August 1941] ...

Kolbe is one of ten 20th-century martyrs from across the world who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey, London."

Jewish Virtual Library, Maximilian Kolbe

“No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the catacombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?”

Maximilian Kolbe

Even in your own small and simple ways, seemingly unnoticed, walk with the angels, for His sake, and for your own.

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