Thursday, August 9, 2018

Edith Stein: St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942)

Thursday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 56 The Abbot's Table
Mass: Jr 31:31-34; Resp Ps 51; Mt 16:13-23

God is spirit and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.
(Jn 4:24)

From Vatican News (August 9, 2018): 'Edith Stein (12 Oct 1891–9 Aug 1942), was a German Jewish philosopher who converted to Catholicism and became a Discalced Carmelite nun after reading the works of the reformer of the Carmelite Order, St. Teresa of Avila.
She was baptized on 1 January 1922 into the Roman Catholic Church and wished to become a Discalced Carmelite but was dissuaded by her spiritual mentors. She pursued her vocation and was admitted to the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Cologne on 14 October 1934.  She received the religious habit of the Order as a novice in April 1934. Edith Stein was now known as Sister Teresia Benedicta a Cruce - Teresa, Benedicta of the Cross. For her the Cross of Christ was her guide and felt that those who understood the Cross of Christ should take it upon themselves on everybody's behalf.
On 9 November 1938 the anti-Semitism of the Nazis became apparent to the whole world. Synagogues were burnt, and the Jewish people were subjected to terror.
On 7 August, early in the morning, 987 Jews were deported to Auschwitz. It was probably on 9 August that Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, her sister Rosa who had also converted and was serving at the Echt Convent, and many other of her people were killed in the gas chambers.'

Beneath the Cross I understand the destiny of God's People...Indeed, today I know far better what it means to be the Lord's bride under the sign of the Cross. But since it is a mystery, it can never be understood by reason alone.
(Teresa Benedicta of the Cross)

The following from Pope St John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Issued Motu Proprio, Spes Aedificandi Proclaiming Saint Bridget of Sweden, Saint Catherine of Siena, and Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Co-Patronesses of Europe (October 1, 1999), 9.
Today’s proclamation of Edith Stein as a Co-Patroness of Europe is intended to raise on this Continent a banner of respect, tolerance and acceptance which invites all men and women to understand and appreciate each other, transcending their ethnic, cultural and religious differences in order to form a truly fraternal society.


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