Thursday, March 6, 2008

Precious is the death of His saints

Pastor Wurmbrand (Vurm'  brahnd) was a Lutheran minister of Romania who suffered many tortures during his years in communist prisons in the last century.   After his release, he authored several books, including Tortured for Christ, to give testimony and a voice to persecuted Christians around the world.  He and his wife, Sabina, started the organization Voice of the Martyrs, which continues to educate free Christians and help those who are persecuted on hostile nations.

Without doubt, reading Tortured for Christ last year left an indelible mark on my heart and mind.  It painfully awakened me to a depth of love and strength in Christ that I have never experienced in my decades of walking with Him.    Pastor Wurmbrand's story has stripped my comfortable views of sanctification, or theosis, as we call it in the Orthodox Church, and laid bare the weakness of my heart.   I cannot thank him enough for that.
Now, today, imagine my surprise to find a recording of Pastor Wurmbrand on the podcast of Frederica Mathewes-Green from Ancient Faith Radio.  What a joy! When he was in prison, he said that he was confined with people of various origins, Germans, Hungarians, Russians, etc. and he noted that Ave Maria was sung in every language except Hebrew.  He thought this was odd since Mary was a Jew and Hebrew would have been her native language.

And so, in due time, Pastor Wurmbrand translated this precious hymn to Mary in Hebrew.  It is his own voice, singing so beautifully to the Theotokos on Frederica's podcast, Here and Now.

Hearing this man, who so loved God and Blessed Mary, has been a treasured discovery today. Listening to the podcast has created an atmosphere of humilty and awe in my heart; a very suitable beginning as I look toward Great Lent.

Thank you Frederica!


Ascending Incense said...

I read Tortured For Christ several years ago, when I was a college student. I found the book very captivating, and the stories of torture and the methods used remain in my mind. Not to do Pastor Wumbrand any discredit, but I found the series of books on Fr. Arseny (a Russian Orthodox priest during Communist Russia) equally as engaging. Fr. Arseny suffered greatly, perhaps as much or even more than Pastor Wumbrand, since Fr. Arseny was imprisoned in the Gulag. Fr. Arseny, in the works on him, shows how one can undergo theosis even in the harshest of circumstances.

amy said...

Thank you for sharing this insight with me. I do not know of Fr. Arseny's story and so, I'll be looking for this series.

Thanks again,

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