Thanks to Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting – woops, make that Hallie Lord. It’s been a great week. For those that don’t know, “7 Quick Takes” is a blogger thing that Jen started where participants link all together at her blog and write seven short mini-posts to sum up the week. Today seemed like a good day to do this…
…because I’m exhausted, the kind of exhaustion you feel while laying on the ground full of exhilaration after running a race you didn’t think you could finish.
1. Our visitors were back. The two ladies who are Holocaust survivors, Bozenna Urbanowicz Gilbride and Inge Auerbacher, made another gracious visit to our area and were guests in our home for a few days, subjected to the onslaught of excited children that hits anyone within ten feet of our front door.
They arrived Tuesday, spent all day Wednesday speaking, and went home yesterday. I’ve heard them tell their story now eight times and every time there is something different. They both survived concentration and labor camps, isolation, disease, starvation and fear as young girls about the age of some of our children. I can’t imagine how painful it is to keep recounting the stories, but they say they do it so that people will know the truth. Inge was born in Germany and is Jewish. Bozenna was born in Poland and is Catholic. They were born the same year, 1934. They speak about faith and religion all the way through the talk, and when people ask if their experiences caused them to lose faith in God, they say it didn’t. They say it made their faith stronger.
2. They coauthored a book, Children of Terror, and it is available now on Kindle. It has been translated into German and Polish, and they have been travelling in Europe to promote the book as well. They leave again in a few weeks. As they say, “We’re hot right now!” They also have completed a new documentary film that will be out soon. Please consider buying the book and reading it. It is real history. The book was written to appeal to adolescents, so it is short and moves very fast. All of their books sold out again on this trip.
3. And get this - I cannot tell you how proud I am to report that this week in the state of Massachusetts where children are sent home from school and given psychological evaluations for drawing Jesus, two faithful Holocaust survivors stood in front of hundreds of middle school children and talked about God, faith, religion, and peace for over two hours before a captivated audience in a public school! The teacher responsible is an angel.
4. I am taking two courses this semester, Christology and Modernism, so I plan to write more about that as I learn it. Remember, I’m not an authority, I’m a student. Writing helps me to learn and hopefully if I learn it well enough to explain it, then other people can learn along with me. And thank you to the ones who teach. Rick DeLano continues to give me guidance on science and religion and Jeff McLeod has introduced me to reading St. Aquinas in Latin. Aren’t I fancy! It makes the whole experience better. I appreciate all the people who comment because it pushes me and others to think (even you Alan!) Also thanks to my husband who gets to hear all about every little detail, and deserves an honorary degree for his patience and wisdom. He reads my books with me and we have lots of great discussions in the kitchen (as long as I don’t drink too much wine).
5. It is now official. The Trasancos family is moving. We aren’t sure when because it depends on a whole lot of events happening in mind-boggling succession, but we will be New Yorkers. Upstate. I have made the super-smart decision to have the interior of our current house painted next while the kids are all home for winter break. Please offer a quick prayer if you think of us. It will take more patience than I have. Barreling on…
6. This is a very serious prayer request. One of our married couple contributors at Ignitum Today has asked for prayers for their unborn baby daughter. They just found out that she has Spina Bifida. Andrew and Cristina Pocta were recently married (go ahead, you must take a minute and scroll to the bottom to see the picture!) and then announced that they were blessed right away with a child (go ahead, take another minute to see the baby “praising Our Lord“), and even as they are concerned for this child they are showing supernatural tenacity and have asked for prayers for Maria Isabella Pocta. Please pray for this whole beautiful young family. This is their blog, Cafe con Leche.
“We don’t know much more right now about what the next steps are….and trust me, we’ve been researching it for days….we are trusting in God and praying for a miracle…..but even more than that, praying that His Will be done in all of our lives. We feel so blessed to have been given such a gift from God….she has surely already begun sanctifying all of us….and SO MANY people are already praying for her.” -Andrew (Dad)
7. Not sure why, but this song has been in my head all week. It’s been emotionally exhausting to hear so much about the horrors of the Holocaust. It’s always humbling to know two survivors are right here under our roof. Seeing the school children so moved, adults so curious, looking at my own children, trying on one hand to imagine them going through those horrors and on the other refusing to even let myself go there — it leaves you with a difficult mix of emotions, gratitude and anxiety.
I should end the post on a happy note, but instead I’ll just say it. All week long I kept thinking of this song and remembering what it was like to be without God. It was like this: Infantile, material, confusion. A mad world, where nothing makes any sense. Not even your own life and you feel like a cog in a wheel.