Tomorrow is the memorial of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Virgin, Martyr, known more commonly as Edith Stein. A Jewish convert to Catholicism, a Carmelite nun, a scholar and a victim of the Nazi Holocaust. She apparently converted to Catholicism sometime after reading about the life of St. Teresa of Avila. I don't know much about her, but I find the lives of saints intriguing, most especially saints of the modern era.
As Catholics, we're taught, once a Catholic always a Catholic. I believe that's also a common belief in Judaism. Both faiths have much to say about the consequences of apostasy, and throughout history there have people converting from one faith to the other many times. Some, very likely were forced and some were by choice. This is an interesting opinion about St. Edith Stein and her connection to her Jewishness. It was written just after her Canonization to Sainthood by Pope John Paul II in 1998.
Some thoughts taken from the article.
A convert is "born again," which also means that from God’s perspective he or she has retroactively always been in the community. An apostate, conversely, does not quit the community existentially; he or she is only absent without leave.Excommunication bars a sinful Catholic from receiving the sacraments, not from the Church herself, just as herem, the ban of ostracism, does not mean that a Jew is no longer a Jew. So Jews regard Edith Stein as a Jewish apostate, but always a Jew nonetheless. And she agreed with us about her Jewish identity; it is about her apostasy that she obviously had a different opinion. We cannot avoid the question of apostasy because it brings us face to face with the rival truth claims our two communities make—to ourselves, to each other, and to the world.
I must digest it again before I even attempt to make any commentary, but I thought it was an interesting reflection for the day.
picture of St. Edith Stein via wikipedia.