Joe and I had written the November reflection a few days ago, but given the horrific event in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 26th, we felt we needed to save those thoughts for another time. Our hearts and prayers continue to be focused on the victims and their families. I drive by the Tree of Life Synagogue just about every day as I pick up Joe on my way home from work, as the university where he teaches is just around the corner. Joe has taught many students from the Pittsburgh Jewish Community over the years. Squirrel Hill is part of our everyday lives, including our favorite movie theatre and a shop we have grown to love where we can buy our favorite wine from Israel. We are glad that the relationship between the Catholic and Jewish Communities in Pittsburgh has been good, especially with our current Bishop David Zubik. We were glad to hear Bishop Zubik be so vocal in his support of the Pittsburgh Jewish Community within hours of the tragedy. Our hearts continue to be very heavy.
I was confident that I would find some words from Elisabeth to think about during this time.
November 28, 1901
Talked to [Emile Alcan] and his wife yesterday about the unjust and un-Christian treatment of Jews in certain circles. My God, will you not give to poor human beings a spirit of intelligence and wisdom, which is the gift of your eternal Spirit? Will you not awaken soon in them the spirit of charity that you came to bring to the world, and which you said contained “the law and the prophets?” I wish I could organize a holy crusade against hate and promote justice and love among men and women. At any rate, in this garden God has given me to cultivate, I want to plead by my attitude, my words, and my actions before everyone I meet the great cause of charity. Will I not thus be defending the cause of God? My God help us; send a ray of light and love into our midst.
Elisabeth Leseur Selected Writings, Janet Ruffing, Paulist Press
With our prayers,
Jennifer and Joe