CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on August 9, 2013

head-of-christ-crowned-with-thorns-1510.jpg!BlogGospel reading of the day:

Matthew 16:24-28

Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay each according to his conduct. Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: In other verses in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus says to his disciples that no student is greater than his teacher. Jesus in this passage has just told his followers that the messiah they had hope for is not the messiah that he is: that whatever joy they share in their journey, suffering was integrally a part of the mystery of living, and living authentically requires those who call him “Lord” to accept the bad along with the good. If a disciple believes that everything is gift from the hand of God, then we will accept the difficult and sorrowful right alongside the easy and joyful.

Saint of the day: Edith Stein, also known of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, was a Carmelite, philosopher, and writer. She had a great influence on the women of her time and continues to influence the intellectual and philosophical circles of today’s Germany and of the whole world.

Born on October 12, 1891, of Jewish parents, Siegried Stein and Auguste Courant, in Breslau, Germany, Edith Stein from her earliest years showed a great aptitude for learning, and by the time of the outbreak of World War I, she had studied philology and philosophy at the University of Breslau and the University of Goettingen. After the war, she resumed her higher studies at the University of Freiburg and received a doctorate in philosophy Suma Cum Laude. She later became the assistant and collaborator of Professor Husserl, the famous founder of phenomenology, who greatly appreciated Edith’s brilliant mind.

In the midst of all her studies, Edith Stein was searching not only for the truth, but for Truth itself. She converted to Catholicism after reading the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Avila. She was baptized on New Year’s Day, 1922.

After her conversion, Edith spent her days teaching, lecturing, writing and translating, and she soon became known as a celebrated philosopher and author, but her own great longing was for the solitude and contemplation of Carmel, in which she could offer herself to God. It was not until the Nazi persecution of the Jews brought her public activities and her influence in the Catholic world to a sudden close that her Benedictine spiritual director gave his approval to her entering the Discalced Carmelie Nuns’ cloistered community at Cologne-Lindenthal on October 14, 1933. The following April, Edith received the Habit of Carmel and the religious name of “Teresa Benedicta of the Cross,” and on Easter Sunday, April 21, 1935, she made her Profession of Vows.

When the Jewish persecution increased in violence and fanaticism, Sister Teresa Benedicta soon realized the danger that her presence was to the Cologne Carmel, and she asked and received permission to transfer to a foreign monastery. On the night of December 31, 1938, she secretly crossed the border into Holland where she was warmly received in the Carmel of Echt. There she wrote her last work, The Science of the Cross.

Her own cross was just ahead of her, for the Nazis had invaded neutral Holland, and when the Dutch bishops issued a pastoral letter protesting the deportation of the Jews and the expulsion of Jewish children from the Catholic school system, the Nazis arrested all Catholics of Jewish ancestry in Holland. Edith was taken from the Echt Carmel on August 2, 1942, and transported by cattle train to the death camp of Auschwitz, the conditions in the box cars being so inhuman that many died or went insane on the four day trip. She died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.

1150834_570525506323134_1373828835_nSpiritual reading: God is there in these moments of rest and can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. Then the rest of the day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace. And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him. Then you will be able to rest in Him — really rest — and start the next day as a new life. (St. Edith Stein)

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