Sunday, August 11, 2013

St. Teresa Benedict of the Cross, Edith Stein

 Loyola Kids Book of Saints is an all-time favorite in our house!  It is filled with wonderful information about many saints and it relates them to kids on their level. We try to read it on a favorite feast day or when the mood strikes us.   There's so much great literature to choose from, but the Bible stories and true-life biographies of holy heroes never gets old.   Over the weekend we read about Edith Stein.  A Jewish born, German philosopher turned-atheist, who finally in her thirties converts to Catholicism after reading an autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila, which lit her heart on fire with love for the Lord!  She experienced such a conversion that finally she entered a Carmelite Order as St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross.  In 1942 she was arrested and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp where she died in the gas chamber.   Her legacy and writings offers a powerful testimony of finding truth and living courageous holiness.   After reading her short story in Kids Book of Saints my boys and I set out to dig deeper.  Elizabeth Foss mentions her frequently on her blog as well as her wonderful book, Real Learning. I have just purchased Edith Stein: Essential Writings  and Essays on Woman and am excited about diving into her life much further.

I can't wait to study her writings more in depth!
 While I wait patiently for my books to arrive , I wanted to share a prayer she wrote.  This is  is a perfect reflection for moms on the run and for anyone struggling to meet the demands of  the day, and with finding peace with God's plan today.
"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."

"O my God, fill my soul with holy joy, courage and strength to serve You. Enkindle Your love in me and then walk with me along the next stretch of road before me. I do not see very far ahead, but when I have arrived where the horizon now closes down, a new prospect will prospect will open before me, and I shall meet it with peace.”

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