09 August 2006

Ave Crux, spes mea!

I have had the great joy of being present at the canonization of one saint, that of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Edith Stein, whose memorial we celebrate today.

11 October 1998 was a beautiful day in Rome and St. Peter's Square was packed for the Mass as Holy Mother Church raised this Carmelite nun to the dignity of the altars.

Born a Jew, at the age of fourteen, "I consciously decided, of my own volition, to give up praying," she said.

But one night she picked up the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila and could not put it down. Upon completing it she said to herself, "This is the truth." Thus began her journey to Christ and her embrace of the Cross.

She was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz today in 1942.

Here are great words of wisdom from this holy woman:

"I thought that leading a religious life meant giving up all earthly things and having one's mind fixed on divine things only. Gradually, however, I learned that other things are expected of us in this world ... I even believe that the deeper someone is drawn to God, the more he has to 'get beyond himself' in this sense, that is, go into the world and carry divine life into it."

"If anyone comes to me, I want to lead them to [Jesus]."

"Human activities cannot help us, but only the suffering of Christ. It is my desire to share in it."

"Henceforth, my only vocation is to love."

"Ave Crux, spes mea! (I welcome you, Cross, our only hope!)"
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, pray for us!

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