Saturday, 12 August 2017

August 9: Feast of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Edith Stein:

2017: Fatima Centenary Year
August 12-13:  19th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Polish-born Jewess Edith Stein, one of the Twentieth Century’s leading philosophers, embraced the Catholic faith in 1931. Because of her Jewish origin, she was interned by the Nazi regime in Auschwitz concentration camp, and martyred on August 9, 1942.  Her biographer, Freda Mary Oben , writes:
“I have always felt deeply the pain of the human condition; before my conversion [Oben converted from Judaism to Catholicism in 1960; and learned German to read Stein in the original], however, I did not know how to confront it. Through Stein’s life and her writings, I recognize the unique redemptive role of woman. Stein believes that God combats evil through the power of woman’s maternal love. That power exists independently of woman’s marital status and should be extended to all persons with whom she comes in contact. Everywhere, there is a need for such love, and it is essential to woman’s nature that she give it. Just as the Mother of Christ appeared publicly at the crucifixion, so, too, a woman must be involved today in the struggle between good and evil.”       
Edith Stein, in a lecture in Zurich, 1932,  “Challenges Facing Swiss Catholic Academic Women”:
“Academics and Public Life:  I have reached the core of a burning question, one on which Swiss academics differ. I do not want to impose my opinion here. Permit me only to pose a question and cite a quotation.
Question: Are we familiar with the work of the adversary? In the mine fields of today’s society, can we justify looking back-wards continuously while our adversary wages war against our views?
A quotation: A prince of the Church can answer this question better than I can. In Cardinal Faulhaber’s commentary on the vesper psalms, he explains the middle verse of the “Magnificat.” He writes:
‘Who still dares to say that politics has nothing to do with religion and that souls directed towards God, especially women, should stay far from public life?  If the quiet virgin of Nazareth, her soul resting completely in God her saviour,   could be concerned with the happenings on the world scene (middle verse of the Magnificat), then religious people, including women of course, dare not indifferent as to whether the arm of God is seen in world events. They must not be unconcerned as to whether the God-willed spiritual, political, and economic order is established. Nor may they be unconcerned when dogmatic intellectuals confuse people with their knowledge when political leaders strike out God’s  name from public life, or when capitalistic exploiters are upsetting the economic order…’  
The example of Mary is relevant here. She is the ideal type of woman who knew how to unite tenderness with power. She stood under the cross. She had previously concerned herself about the human condition, observed it, understood it! In her son’s tragic hour she appeared publicly. Perhaps the moment has almost come for the Catholic women also to stand with Mary and with the Church under the cross! ”

St. Augustine said: “Bad times! Troublesome times! This is what people are saying. Let our lives be good, and the times will be good. We make our times. Such as we are, such are the times.”