Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, OCD, (Edith Stein) virgin & martyr

This is the feast of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, a Jewish woman, philosopher, Catholic convert, Carmelite nun, virgin and martyr who was killed in the Holocaust. "St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross says to us all: Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie." (Pope John Paul II from the canonization homily of St. Teresa Benedicta, 11 October 1998)

Today's gospel is the famous Matthew 16, where Jesus asks the apostles to confess who he is. Peter replies that Jesus is the "Christ---the Son of the Living God." Then follows the "Thou art Peter" and then Peter's rebuke from the Lord for inhibiting his exodus in Jerusalem. St. Peter speaks in love to Jesus that he should not go to his crucifixion: Heaven preserve you, Lord, this must not happen to you. It was said in love, but it was contrary to the truth of Jesus' mission, the redemption of the world. He had already explained to the apostles that he must endure this burden. A few days later he would show Peter, James, and John that it would end in glory (the Transfiguration that we celebrated last Monday).

You are an obstacle in my path, because the way you thing is not God's way but man's. Jesus reminds us that love and truth have to be always together. The reality (truth) of our life should be accompanied with the love that springs from the divine life of God.

Collect: God our Father, you give us joy each year in honoring the memory of St. Teresa Benedicta. May her prayers be a source of help for us, and may her example of courage and chastity be our inspiration. Grant this through our Lord Jesus christ, your Son, who lives and reighns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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