Join Fr. Mike Schmitz as he celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday Mass at the University of Minnesota – Duluth. [47:03]
The homily (begins at 8:45) on mercy is outstanding. I highly recommend it to all of you. The story he tells about Rudolph Höss, the Commandant of Auschwitz, is stunning.
I looked Höss up on Wikipedia. The article confirms Fr. Mike’s story about his last days. But the article also includes these paragraphs, which I think are particularly pertinent to us today.
In a farewell letter to his wife, Höss wrote on 11 April:
Based on my present knowledge I can see today clearly, severely and bitterly for me, that the entire ideology about the world in which I believed so firmly and unswervingly was based on completely wrong premises and had to absolutely collapse one day. And so my actions in the service of this ideology were completely wrong, even though I faithfully believed the idea was correct. Now it was very logical that strong doubts grew within me, and whether my turning away from my belief in God was based on completely wrong premises. It was a hard struggle. But I have again found my faith in my God.
The same day in a farewell letter to his children, Höss told his eldest son:
Keep your good heart. Become a person who lets himself be guided primarily by warmth and humanity. Learn to think and judge for yourself, responsibly. Don’t accept everything without criticism and as absolutely true… The biggest mistake of my life was that I believed everything faithfully which came from the top, and I didn’t dare to have the least bit of doubt about the truth of that which was presented to me. … In all your undertakings, don’t just let your mind speak, but listen above all to the voice in your heart.
- H/t to Mama Buzz who recommended the video to me.