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Martyr's example of God's revelation to us

John Burns (Writeback, August 8th), thinks that God 'evolved' in the mind of His worshippers - and that, because the Jews do not yet know that God is a Trinity of Persons, this somehow proves his atheistic views.

However, Mr Burns misses something very central to the Christian doctrine of God. It is God Who reveals His nature to humankind, not vice versa. Human beings do not 'make God up' as we go along.

Revelation is the loving initiative of our Creator, who, according to the ancient formula: 'created us to know, love and serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him, for ever, in the next'.

The Catholic Church recently celebrated St Edith Stein of Auschwitz. She was born Jewish but declared herself an atheist at 14. Later, after post-graduate and doctoral studies, she became a Catholic. She became a Carmelite nun in Germany.

Her veil did not hide her - neither would she allow it to - from the Nazis, when they invaded Echt in Holland, where she had been persuaded to go, for her own safety.

She was arrested there by the Gestapo. As a Jew and a Christian, she would seek no further safety. 'My place is with my people', she said.

She was incinerated in the ovens of Auschwitz; but she had come to know, as a Jew and later, as a Christian, that when the Trinity embrace us, we need fear no evil - not even death.

Fr Patrick McCafferty


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