Rosalind Moss is a woman I truly admire. (You can read her testimony here.) Born to Jewish (Hungarian/Russian) parents, Rosalind grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Her family kept all of the traditions, attended synagogue and celebrated Passover. Every year they sang the traditional songs including Eliyahu Ha Navi (Elijah the Prophet) which is an invitation to the prophet to bring the Mashiac to the Seder feast. At Pesach a place is set for Elijah. If he does not show up then the family prays that he will come next year.
Rosalind, and her brother David, spent many years seeking after the LORD. They questioned, pondered and researched all that they were taught, or had read about their Jewish faith. One day, David found an article about a ministry called Jews for Jesus. He shared the article with his sister, but she was suspicious.
Rosalind told her brother, Jews do not believe in Jesus. That’s what it means to be a Jew. Jesus wasn’t Jewish. He was for the Gentiles. Anyway, if there are Jewish believers they must all be in California.
David, however, was intrigued and continued to do research. That there were Jewish believers in Jesus was simply unbelievable. Rosalind then came out to California on business. Walking through the campus of UCLA she spotted a young man wearing a T-shirt that was imprinted Jews for Jesus. Rosalind stopped and blinked her eyes.
“What,” she exclaimed, “there are Jewish believers in Jesus!?”
The young man gave her a tract which she graciously took for further study. Rosalind continued her studies with a group of Messianic Jews.
They taught me about our Jewish faith. I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know about the Mosaic law. I didn’t know about the sacrificial system. I didn’t understand the shedding of blood. The Day of Atonement was a mystery. These things were not taught in synagogue. All I knew was that when Messiah came there would be peace. There is no peace so Messiah could not have come.
Beginning in the Torah, Rosalind learned the meaning of animal sacrifice. She now understood how the blood of an innocent lamb atoned for a person’s sin. Then, her Messianic teachers showed her John 1:29 where John the Baptist declared of Jesus, Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! Rosalind said, That one verse shattered my world. I knew then that Jesus was the Messiah.
Rosalind’s mentor was an evangelical, ex-Catholic. The brand of Christianity that she was taught was virulently anti-Catholic. For the next 18 years she was on a mission to save Catholics from their false religion.
Two years after Rosalind accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, her brother David — believing that it was the true church of Christ — converted to Catholicism. This caused not an estrangement between the two of them, but it did motivate Rosalind to spend the next 16 years of her life trying to save her brother from what she thought was a satanic system.
David would not be swayed. He had experienced Judaism, agnosticism, atheism, Protestantism (Baptist), and was convinced that the Catholic Church was the New Testament church established by Jesus Christ.
Christmas Eve 1978, Rosalind attended Mass with David. She was struck by a sense of awe and reverence — of holiness and majesty. The service began with a solemn observance of God, the Creator of all things, and Rosalind said to her brother, This reminds me of synagogue with Christ. When the Eucharist was celebrated Rosalind felt a bolt of energy surge through her body and she said to David, This is the breaking of bread at Passover. They’re observing Passover!
[The Eucharist is condemned by Protestants as crucifying Christ all over again. Seen through Jewish eyes it is a memorial observance of Pesach.]
In the summer of 1990, Rosalind began a soul-searching examination of the Catholic Church. She continued seeking until her conversion at the Easter Vigil in 1995.
But that isn’t the whole story.
Rosalind Moss, as a Protestant, earned a graduate degree from Talbot Theological Seminary. A Jewish girl turned evangelical Christian, who later converted to Catholicism, had only just begun her spiritual journey. Having once been on the staff of a Quaker Church she would later become a writer of Catholic apologetics defending the very doctrines that she condemned for 18 years.
It was a road to Damascus story.
On September 8, 2011, Rosalind became Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, Order of Saint Benedict. She can be heard daily on Immaculate Heart Radio.
The one issue that turned the hearts of Rosalind and David was that of church unity. They didn’t understand the tens of thousands of Protestant denominations. God is not the author of division and confusion.
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one — as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me (John 17:21).
The Reformation — understood by Catholics to be the falling away — has wrought tens of thousands of churches that teach just as many interpretations. There is not universal agreement even on what Protestants call the essentials. Some might argue that the split between the Eastern Orthodox Church and Rome was also divisive, but in practicality it was mostly due to cultural and political differences (such as the authority of the Romish Pope).
Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself (Ephesians 2:20).
[The Catholic Church traces its roots back to the New Testament. Protestants trace their origins to the 16th century and after. This is not to suggest that the Church was without fault, but that correction should have been made internally.]
There are two Catholic churches in my neighborhood, and both conform to liturgical tradition. Conversely, there are a dozen Protestant churches nearby and none of them share the same doctrinal statement. In fact, a few require that a member be baptized according to their bylaws.
Brothers, we are not baptized into a denomination — but into the body of Christ. (I’ve already received two Protestant baptisms because of this errant teaching.)
Mother Miriam reflected on her journey:
I have always felt that I was made for another world and that I was a pilgrim in this one. Giving my life to God through Christ from my Jewish background changed my life forever. Coming further into the fullness of Christianity 18 years later in the Catholic Church deepened my relationship with God more than I knew was possible.
This is one person’s testimony. It is not intended to be a defense of Catholicism. The church of Jesus Christ is a spiritual body. It is not a building nor even a denomination. It is people of faith. Some are Catholic … some are Protestant … some attend a local parish while others meet in a private home … some are Pentecostal … some are Baptist … and there are still a few who insist that they are simply Christians.
“For a Jewish person to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is a difficult thing to understand,” said Rosalind.
But it truly is a coming home.
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