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Monday, August 9, 2010

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: MON. AUG. 9, 2010










CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: MON. AUG. 9, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: COMMENTS AT ANGELUS WITH FAITHFUL: USE LOGIC OF LOVE-
ASIA: INDONESIA: RADICAL MUSLIM MOB ATTACKS CHRISTIANS DOZENS INJURED-
AFRICA: RWANDA: 12, 000 BELIEVERS GATHER IN STADIUM TO PRAY FOR ELECTIONS-
EUROPE: RUSSIA: 700 DEATHS A DAY DUE TO SMOG/FIRES/HEAT WAVE-
EUROPE: BULGARIA: INTERNATIONAL CHRISITIAN YOUTH FESTIVAL WITH CAPUCHINS-
AMERICA: BOLIVIA: 185TH ANNIVERSARY OF FOUNDING- BISHOPS ENCOURAGE LIFE-
AUSTRALIA: CANONISATION OF MACKILLOP TO BE BEAMED LIVE FROM ROME-


VATICAN
POPE: COMMENTS AT ANGELUS WITH FAITHFUL: USE LOGIC OF LOVE

Radio Vatican report: Pope Benedict XVI prayed the Angelus with the faithful gathered in the courtyard of the Papal Summer residence at Castel Gandolfo this Sunday.

In his remarks ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, Pope Benedict reflected on the Gospel reading for this Sunday, saying in the passage from the Gospel according to St. Luke, Jesus continues his discourse to the disciples about the worth of the person and about how useless earthly concerns really are, and illustrates how the expectation of the fulfilment of the "blessed hope, His coming, must push us even more to a fulfilling life, rich in good works." “It is,” he said, “an invitation to use things without selfishness, without the thirst for possession or domination, but according to God's logic, the logic of attention to one’s neighbour, the logic of love.
The Holy Father also looked forward to some of the saints’ feasts, which the Church shall celebrate this week, men and women who made God the centre of their lives and lived accordingly: The religious founder, St. Dominic and the foundress, St. Claire of Assisi; St. Lawrence of Rome, Deacon and Martyr; and finally, a pair of 20th century martyrs who shared the same fate at Auschwitz - the Carmelite Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, born Edith Stein, and the Franciscan Maximilian Kolbe, founder of the Army of Mary Immaculate, both of whom experienced the darkness of World War II without ever losing hope in the God of life and love.
After the Angelus prayer, Pope Benedict greeted pilgrims in many languages, including English…
I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors gathered for this Angelus prayer. Today’s Gospel reminds us that by God’s goodness much has been given to us, and much will be required of us. During these quiet days of summer let us thank the Lord for the many blessings we have received and draw ever closer to him in prayer, in fidelity to his commandment of love, and in communion with his Body, the Church. Upon you and your families I invoke an abundance of joy and peace in the Lord!
http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=414120


ASIA
INDONESIA: RADICAL MUSLIM MOB ATTACKS CHRISTIANS DOZENS INJURED

Asia News report: Denied the right to meet in church, Ethnic Christian Bataks are again subject to violence once. Police is accused of just looking on. Many women are attacked.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Hundreds of Muslim extremists and residents in Bekasi, 25 kilometres east of Jakarta, attacked dozens of members of a Protestant Church. A mob of about 800 angry Muslims stormed an open field in Ciketing Asem, Bekasi, Sunday morning, where Christians were holding Mass. After taking over the place, they roughly threw the Christians out.
Although present at the site, police just stood idly by, looking at what was happening, forming two lines to create a protective corridor that allowed the Christians to walk away. However, some of the latter were chased and beaten. “Several of them were wounded,” a churchgoer told AsiaNews. “Several of them were women”.
The attackers included members of radical groups like the Islamic Defender Front (FPI) and Islamic Community Forum (FUI).
Sahara Pangaribuan, an attorney that represents the Christian community, slammed police and the government for “not providing protection and security to the minority religious group”.
Bekasi’s Christian community belongs to the Batak Christian Protestant Church (Indon: Huria Batak Kristen Protestan). As the name indicates, members are ethnic Batak and their languages and customs are used during religious ceremonies.
This is the third time the FPI and the FUI disrupt an open-air religious ceremony held by the HKBP in Bekasi.
Tensions rose when the local authorities took away from the Church’s permit to use its church building, whilst allowing the community to use an open field for Sunday services.
Muslim extremists objected to the decision, arguing that the HKBP did not have the right papers to organise any meeting. Church leaders countered saying that they had all the papers, but that as a result of pressure from Muslim radicals they lost their permit.
HKBP leaders have tried to get the permit back by going to the Indonesian Human Rights Commission and the Indonesian parliament. So far, nothing was achieved because the police failed to enforce order and uphold the rights of the community.
Days ago, Rev Luspida Simanjutak, the community’s main pastor, told AsiaNews that, despite the hostility and violence of Muslims, the faithful would never stop meeting in the football field for Sunday Mass.
Bekasi Police Chief Imam Sugianto denied allegations that the police stood idly by.
“We warned the Christians several times, telling them not to hold the meetings, but they forced the situation, and the incident occurred,” he said.
He also acknowledged that 500 police agents were not enough to hold back the angry mob. (MH)
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Muslim-mob-attacks-Christians-in-Bekasi,-dozens-are-injured-19155.html


AFRICA
RWANDA: 12, 000 BELIEVERS GATHER IN STADIUM TO PRAY FOR ELECTIONS

All Africa report: Over 12,000 believers from various religious denominations in Kigali City yesterday thronged Amahoro National Stadium to pray for today's Presidential elections to be peaceful.

The crusade which kicked off in the afternoon till sunset was dubbed "Rwanda is in your hands Lord."
The event was mostly characterized by prayers by several pastors, testimonies and entertainment from local church choirs such as the renowned Rehoboth Ministries, Catholic Choir, Amahoro and Hosiana of ADEPR and Adventist church, and a special entertainment from The Sisters.
Pastor Antoine Rutayisire, the senior pastor of St. Etienne who observed that bad politics plunged the country into Genocide, urged all churches to wake up and play their role in changing the mindset of Rwandans.
"It's now our (churches) time to pave the way for a better Rwanda. Rwanda is ours always. If we sleep, it will crumble down," Rutayisire noted, calling on all Rwandans to love and always pray for their country.
He recalled the day of April 17, 1994 when he was among those who survived in the Stadium and said "Rwanda was destroyed by Rwandans who should join hands to rebuild it."
Bishop Faustin Bashaka observed that Rwanda has made a tremendous step in development, especially in the last seven years. Economy, good governance, education, healthcare and decentralization are among the sectors, Bashaka said have developed.
"All these and the peace and security Rwandans are enjoying was a result of good leadership and such leaders need to be rewarded but only the lord can," he said.
Various clergymen and women prayed that Rwanda continues to be peaceful.
Charles Murigande, the Minister of Education, who presided over the event, commended the religions' efforts to change Rwandans.
He commended them for their partnership with the government in creating a peaceful country and to partner in having a seven year term of peace and development.
The crusade organised in partnership with Kigali City was also attended by the city Mayor, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira and the Anglican church Archbishop, Emmanuel Kolini, among others.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201008090003.html
 
 
EUROPE
RUSSIA: 700 DEATHS A DAY FROM SMOG/FIRES/HEAT WAVE- MORGUES OVERFLOW
 
Fox News report: Deaths in Moscow have doubled to an average of 700 people a day as the Russian capital is engulfed by poisonous smog from wildfires and a sweltering heat wave, a top health official said Monday.

Moscow health chief Andrei Seltsovky blamed weeks of unprecedented heat and suffocating smog for the rise in mortality compared to the same time last year, Russian news agencies reported. He said city morgues were nearly overflowing, filled with 1,300 bodies, close to their capacity.
Arid smog blanketed Moscow for a six straight day Monday, with concentrations of carbon monoxide and other poisonous substances two to three times higher than what is considered safe. Those airborne pollutants reached a record over the weekend — exceeding the safe limit by nearly seven times.

Flights to and from Moscow were diverted to other airports -- some as far away as the Ukraine -- while scores of Russians fled the city wearing protective masks, Sky News reported.
About 550 separate blazes were burning nationwide Monday, mainly across western Russia, including about 40 around Moscow, according to the Emergencies Ministry. Forest and peat bog fires have been triggered by the most intense heat wave in 130 years of record keeping.
Alexander Frolov, head of Russia's weather service, said judging by historic documents, this heat wave could be the worst in up to 1,000 years.
"Our ancestors haven't observed or registered a heat like that within 1,000 years," Frolov said at a news conference. "This phenomenon is absolutely unique."
He said the heat in Moscow reflects the global climate's increased volatility.
Daily highs have reached up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), compared to the usual summer average of 75 F (24 C). And, according to the forecast, there will be no respite this week.
Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, a climate change and health expert at the World Health Organization in Geneva, said deaths could certainly double with higher temperatures alone — a phenomenon seen during Europe's 2003 heat wave.
"The impacts tend to be more severe in places that are not used to these kinds of temperatures," he told The Associated Press. "These temperatures wouldn't be out of place in the southern U.S. or Australia, but in Russia, the infrastructure is not used to these temperatures and the risk of death will increase."
Few apartments in Moscow have air conditioning and the city's overcrowded subway is poorly ventilated.
Campbell-Lendrum said it would be difficult to pinpoint whether the majority of new Russian deaths were due to the heat or to the smog, but said there was no question the combined effect was dangerous.
He said elderly people and those with health conditions like heart or lung problems were most at risk, but with extreme conditions, there could also be a spike in deaths of otherwise healthy people. He said the increased deaths would likely continue for as long as the heat wave persists.
At least 52 people have died directly in the wildfires and over 2,000 homes have been destroyed. Flights to Moscow have been delayed and diverted.
ussian authorities have acknowledged that the 10,000 firefighters battling the blazes aren't enough, and sent thousands of soldiers to help fight the fires.
Wednesday's international soccer match between Russia and Bulgaria was moved from Moscow to St. Petersburg, 370 miles (600 kilometers) to the northwest, due to the smog.
The severe drought and wildfires have destroyed 20 percent of Russia's wheat crop, prompting the government last week to introduce a ban grain exports for the rest of the year. The news drove the price of wheat, which has already jumped 70 percent on world markets this summer, even higher.On the Russian blogosphere, one of the country's last outposts of unfettered expression, the mood was bleak and angry that the situation had become so serious. One blogger on the popular LiveJournal site suggested that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Moscow's mayor and other top officials be fired for not stopping the fires. Another LiveJournal blogger said the polluting haze had prompted her to quit smoking.
Others focused on immediate issues — like getting a good night's sleep.
"Every night it's like we prepare for war," blogger Tsirtsis wrote on the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta's Web site. "With open windows, it's impossible to breathe because of the burning, and with closed windows we choke in the stifling heat."
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/08/09/moscow-deaths-twice-usual-number-suffocating-smog-wildfires-lingers/?test=latestnews



EUROPE
BULGARIA: INTERNATIONAL CHRISITIAN YOUTH FESTIVAL WITH CAPUCHINS
Independent Cath. News report: Belozem 2010 - the International Christian Youthful Festival takes place again in Belozem Sophia, Bulgaria from 23 - 28 August.

Organised by the Capuchin Brothers, this year's festival will have group discussions, church services, meditation, discussion rounds, work shops and evening concerts at the amphitheatre.
The festival will be the beginning of a new evangelisation school. It's goal will be not only the conveyance of knowledge, but also the commitment to a real and authentic relationship with God. The school will also enable the networking between the national and international participants and communities.
In the development stage of the school the participants will be encouraged to meet every three months. Their goal is to transform the festival in Belozem into a yearly summer meeting of the members of the evangelisation school.
Special guests at the festival will be Roberto Bignoli, and Nuova Civiltà, leading Christian Rock Bands from Italy.
In order to take part in the Christian Youthful Festival Belozem 2010:, participants need to be older than 16. They are asked to bring Bibles, and writing materials. There is a token fee of 10 leva. Accomodation and food during the festival will be sponsored by the
organizers.
For more information call 0878 188 705 or e-mail krzysztof.orzadowicz@gmail.com
http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=16620


AMERICA
BOLIVIA: 185TH ANNIVERSARY OF FOUNDING- BISHOPS ENCOURAGE LIFE

Agenzia Fides REPORT – Yesterday, August 6, Bolivia commemorated the 185th anniversary of the founding of the Republic, in the midst of a complex process of transition and transformation into a multinational state. On this anniversary of the country, the Bishops of Bolivia have issued an encouraging message of solidarity and hope to the people of all regions and cultures.


The bishops write: "As a church, rooted in our faith in Jesus Christ, we have actively participated in building the country. We have helped to overcome moments of confrontation; we have raised our voices when injustices have brought suffering and pain for the most disadvantaged, especially when the dictatorial and repressive regimes have violated human, civil, social, and political rights."

"There is no doubt that the present moment is full of plans and desires to build a fairer society... The recognition of cultural differences should not blind us to the fundamental equality of all Bolivians as human beings created in the image and likeness of God."

"The justice that, in many cases, in our country has been an instrument of economic power and thus discredited, especially among the poor, is now in danger of falling subject to political interests, in such a way that it continues to create mistrust," continues the bishops' message.

"We note with great concern that the scourge of corruption and drug trafficking continues to grow in the country and create a culture of death. There is a growing number of Bolivian youth who are victims of this social scourge of drugs. Given the scope and implications of this phenomenon, a reaction is needed from society, especially from authorities, in order to counter its growth and foster a culture of life,” say the bishops.

They conclude with an appeal, "It seems appropriate for us to call on everyone to go beyond party interests and to work together to find paths of hope, progress, coexistence, equality, freedom, and justice for our people."
http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=27220&lan=eng


AUSTRALIA
CANONISATION OF MACKILLOP TO BE BEAMED LIVE FROM ROME

Cath News report: The canonisation of Mary MacKillop will be beamed live to Melburnians from Rome, with large screens at the Royal Exhibition Building broadcasting the ceremony from St Peter's Basilica on October 17.

Pope Benedict XVI will officially declare Mother Mary Australia's first saint in the ceremony, which starts at 7pm eastern Australian time, reports the Herald Sun.
Yesterday, on the anniversary of her death in 1909, Archbishop Denis Hart announced plans for a Melbourne-based festival to commemorate the event. The news report said the Victorian Government will contribute $250,000 toward the celebrations.
Archbishop Hart predicted thousands would join in a colourful procession from Mary's first home in Brunswick St, Fitzroy, after a traditional morning Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral.
A festival of music and entertainment and a prayer service will be staged at the Exhibition Building in the lead-up to the canonisation.
"I think it (will be) a day we'll all remember where we were on the day that Australia's first saint was canonised," he is quoted saying. "This will touch and influence and inspire all Australians."
http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=22750
IMAGE http://www.wesleypac.com.au/whatsonpics/2009/MMAC_image.jpg


TODAY'S SAINT

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

MARTYR
Information: Feast Day: August 9
Born: October 12, 1891, Breslau, German Empire
Died: August 9, 1942, Auschwitz concentration camp, Nazi-occupied Poland
Canonized: May 1, 1987, Cologne, Germany by Pope John Paul II
Patron of: Europe; loss of parents; martyrs; World Youth Day
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Edith Stein, was born in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland), on 12 October 1891, the youngest of 11, as her family was celebrating Yom Kippur, that most important Jewish festival, the Day of Atonement. "More than anything else, this helped make the youngest child very precious to her mother". Being born on this day was like a foreshadowing to Edith, a future Carmelite nun.
Edith's father, who ran a timber business, died when she had just turned two. Her mother, a very devout, hardworking and strong-willed woman, now had to look after the family and their large business. However, she did not succeed in keeping up a living faith in her children. Edith lost her faith in God. "I consciously decided, of my own volition, to give up praying", she said.
In 1911 she enrolled at the University of Breslau to study German and history, but her real interest was philosophy and women's issues. She became a member of the Prussian Society for Women's Suffrage. "When I was at school and during my first year at university", she wrote later, "I was a radical suffragette. Then I lost interest in the whole issue. Now I am looking for purely pragmatic solutions".
In 1913 Edith Stein transferred to Gottingen University, to study under Edmund Husserl. She became his pupil and teaching assistant, and he later tutored her for a doctorate. At the time, anyone who was interested in philosophy was fascinated by Husserl's new view of reality. His pupils saw his philosophy as a return to objects: "back to things". Husserl's phenomenology unintentionally led many of his pupils to the Christian faith. In Gottingen Edith Stein also met the philosopher Max Scheler, who turned her attention to Roman Catholicism. Nevertheless, she did not neglect her studies and took her degree with distinction in January 1915.
"I no longer have a life of my own", she wrote at the beginning of the First World War, having taken a nursing course and gone to serve in an Austrian field hospital. This was a hard time for her, as she looked after the sick in the typhus ward, worked in an operating theatre and saw young people die. When the hospital was closed in 1916, she followed Husserl as his assistant to Freiburg, Germany, where she received her doctorate summa cum laude in 1917, after writing a thesis on "The Problem of Empathy".
Her first encounter with the Cross and its power
During this period she went to Frankfurt cathedral and saw a woman with a shopping basket going in to kneel for a brief prayer. "This was something totally new to me. In the synagogues and Protestant churches I had visited people simply went to the services. Here, however, I saw someone coming straight from the busy marketplace into this empty church, as if she was going to have an intimate conversation. It was something I never forgot". Towards the end of her dissertation she wrote: "There have been people who believed that a sudden change had occurred within them and that this was a result of God's grace". How could she come to such a conclusion?
Edith Stein had been a friend of Husserl's Gottingen assistant, Adolf Reinach, and his wife. When Reinach died in Flanders in November 1917, Edith went to Gottingen to visit his widow. The Reinachs had converted to Protestantism. Edith felt uneasy about meeting the young widow at first, but was surprised when she actually met a woman of faith. "This was my first encounter with the Cross and the divine power it imparts to those who bear it ... it was the moment when my unbelief collapsed and Christ began to shine his light on me—Christ in the mystery of the Cross". Later, she wrote: "Things were in God's plan which I had not planned at all. I am coming to the living faith and conviction that—from God's point of view—there is no chance and that the whole of my life, down to every detail, has been mapped out in God's divine providence and makes complete and perfect sense in God's all-seeing eyes".
In autumn 1918 Edith Stein left her job as Husserl's teaching assistant. She wanted to work independently. It was not until 1930 that she saw Husserl again after her conversion, and she talked with him about her faith, as she would have liked him to become a Christian too. Then she wrote down the amazing words: "Every time I feel my powerlessness and inability to influence people directly, I become more keenly aware of the necessity of my own holocaust".
Edith Stein wanted to obtain a professorship, a goal that was impossible for women at the time. Husserl wrote the following reference: "Should academic careers be opened up to women, I can recommend her wholeheartedly". Later, she was refused a professorship on account of being Jewish.
Baptized on the feast of the Circumcision
Back in Breslau, Edith Stein began to write articles about the philosophical foundation of psychology. However, she also read the New Testament, Kierkegaard and Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises. She felt that one could not just read a book like that, but had to put it into practice.
In the summer of 1921 she spent several weeks in Bergzabern at the country estate of Hedwig Conrad-Martius, another of Husserl's students. Hedwig had converted to Protestantism with her husband. One evening Edith picked up an autobiography of St Teresa of Avila and read this book all night. "When I had finished the book, I said to myself: this is the truth". Later, looking back on her life, she wrote: "My longing for truth was a single prayer".
On 1 January 1922 Edith Stein was baptized. It was the feast of the Circumcision of Jesus, when Jesus entered into the covenant of Abraham. Edith Stein stood at the baptismal font, wearing Hedwig Conrad-Martius' white wedding cloak. Hedwig was her godmother. "I had given up practising my Jewish religion when I was a 14-year old girl and did not begin to feel Jewish again until I had returned to God". From this moment on she was continually aware that she belonged to Christ not only spiritually, but also through blood. On the feast of the Purification of Mary—another day with an Old Testament connection—she was confirmed by the Bishop of Speyer in his private chapel.
After her conversion she went straight to Breslau: "Mother", she said, "I am a Catholic". The two women wept. Hedwig Conrad-Martius wrote: "Behold, two Israelites in whom there is no guile!" (cf. Jn 1:47).
Immediately after her conversion she wanted to join a Carmelite convent. However, her spiritual mentors, Vicar General Schwind of Speyer and Erich Przywara, S.J., stopped her from doing so. Until Easter of 1931 she taught German and history at the Dominican Sisters' school and teacher-training college at St Magdalen's Convent in Speyer. At the same time she was encouraged by Archabbot Raphael Walzer of Beuron Abbey to accept extensive speaking engagements, mainly on women's issues. "During the time immediately before and quite some time after my conversion 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 learnt 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 'go beyond himself' in this sense, that is, go into the world and carry divine life into it".
She translated the letters and diaries of Cardinal Newman from his pre-Catholic period as well as Thomas Aquinas' Quaestiones Disputatae de Veritate. The latter was a very free translation, for the sake of dialogue with modern philosophy. Erich Przywara also encouraged her to write her own philosophical works. She learnt that it was possible to "pursue scholarship as a service to God". To gain strength for her life and work, she frequently went to the Benedictine monastery of Beuron to celebrate the great feasts of the Church year.
In 1931 Edith Stein left the convent school in Speyer and devoted herself to working for a professorship again, this time in Breslau and Freiburg, though her endeavours were in vain. It was then that she wrote Potency and Act, a study of the central concepts developed by Thomas Aquinas. Later, at the Carmelite convent in Cologne she rewrote this study to produce her main philosophical and theological study, Finite and Eternal Being. But by then it was no longer possible to print the texts.
She successfully combined faith and scholarship
In 1932 she accepted a teaching post in the Roman Catholic division of the German Institute for Educational Studies at the University of M√ľnster, where she developed her anthropology. She successfully combined scholarship and faith in her work and teaching, seeking to be a "tool of the Lord" in everything she taught. "If anyone comes to me, I want to lead them to him".
In 1933 darkness broke out over Germany. "I had heard of severe measures against Jews before, but now it dawned on me that God had laid his hand heavily on his people, and that the destiny of these people would also be mine". The Nazis' Aryan Law made it impossible for Edith Stein to continue teaching. "If I cannot go on here, then there are no longer any opportunities for me in Germany", she wrote. "I had become a stranger in the world." Archabbot Walzer of Beuron now no longer stopped her from entering Carmel. While in Speyer, she had already taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. In 1933 she met the Prioress of the Carmelite convent in Cologne. "Human activity cannot help us, but only the suffering of Christ. It is my desire to share in it".
Edith Stein went to Breslau for the last time, to say goodbye to her mother and her family. Her last day at home was her birthday, 12 October, which was also the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Edith went to the synagogue with her mother. It was a hard day for the two women. "Why did you become acquainted with it [Christianity]?", her mother asked. "I don't want to say anything against him. He may have been a very good person. But why did he make himself God?". Edith's mother cried. The following day Edith was on the train to Cologne. "I did not feel any passionate joy. What I had just experienced was too terrible. But I felt a profound peace—in the safe haven of God's will". From now on she wrote to her mother every week, though she never received any replies. Instead, her sister Rosa sent her news from Breslau.
'A very poor and powerless little Esther'
Edith Stein entered the Carmelite convent of Cologne on 14 October and was clothed in the habit on 15 April 1934. The Mass was celebrated by the Archabbot of Beuron. Edith Stein was now known as Sr Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. In 1938 she wrote: "I understood the Cross as the destiny of God's People, which was beginning to be apparent at the time (1933). 1 felt that those who understood the Cross of Christ should take it upon themselves on everybody's behalf. Of course, I know better now what it means to be wedded to the Lord under the sign of the Cross. However, one can never comprehend it, because it is a mystery". On 21 April 1935 she took her temporary vows. On 14 September 1936 the renewal of her vows coincided with her mother's death in Breslau. " My mother held on to her faith to the last moment. But as her faith and her firm trust in her God ... were the last thing that was still alive in the throes of her death, I am confident that she will have met a very merciful judge and that she is now my most faithful helper, so that I can reach the goal as well".
When she took her perpetual vows on 21 April 1938, she had the words of St John of the Cross printed on her devotional picture: "Henceforth my only vocation is to love". Her final work would be devoted to this author.
Edith Stein's entry into the Carmelite Order was not escapism. "Those who join the Carmelite Order are not lost, to their near and dear ones, but have been won for them, because it is our vocation to intercede with God for everyone". In particular, she interceded with God for her people: "I keep thinking of Queen Esther who was taken away from her people precisely because God wanted her to plead with the king on behalf of her nation. I am a very poor and powerless little Esther, but the King who has chosen me is infinitely great and merciful. This is a great comfort" (31 October 1938).
On 9 November 1938 the anti-Semitism of the Nazis became apparent to the whole world. Synagogues were burnt and the Jewish people were terrorized. The Prioress of the Cologne Carmel did her utmost to take Sr Teresa Benedicta of the Cross abroad. On New Year's Eve 1938 she was smuggled across the border into the Netherlands, to the Carmelite convent in Echt. This is where she wrote her will on 9 June 1939: "Even now I accept the death that God has prepared for me in complete submission and with joy as being his most holy will for me. I ask the Lord to accept my life and my death ... so that the Lord will be accepted by his people and that his kingdom may come in glory, for the salvation of Germany and the peace of the world".
In Echt, Edith Stein hurriedly completed her study of "The Church's Teacher of mysticism and the Father of the Carmelites, John of the Cross, on the Occasion of the 400th Anniversary of His Birth, 1542-1942". In 1941 she wrote to a friend, who was also a member of her order: "One can only gain a scientia crucis (knowledge of the cross) if one has thoroughly experienced the cross. I have been convinced of this from the first moment onwards and have said with all my heart: 'Ave, Crux, Spes unica' (I welcome you, Cross, our only hope)". Her study on St John of the Cross is entitled: Kreuzeswissenschaft "The Science of the Cross".
Edith Stein was arrested by the Gestapo on 2 August 1942, while she was in the chapel with the other sisters. She was to report within five minutes, together with her sister Rosa, who had also converted and was serving at the Echt convent. Her last words to be heard in Echt were addressed to Rosa: "Come, we are going for our people".
Together with many other Jewish Christians, the two women were taken to a transit camp in Amersfoort and then to Westerbork. This was an act of retaliation against the protest letter written by the Dutch Catholic Bishops against the pogroms and deportations of Jews. Edith commented: "I never knew that people could be like this, neither did I know that my brothers and sisters would have to suffer like this.... I pray for them every hour. Will God hear my prayers? He will certainly hear them in their distress". Prof. Jan Nota, who was greatly attached to her, wrote later: "She is a witness to God's presence in a world where God is absent".
On 7 August, early in the morning, 987 Jews were deported to Auschwitz. It was probably on 9 August that Sr Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, her sister and many others of her people were gassed.
When Edith Stein was beatified in Cologne on 1 May 1987, the Church honoured "a daughter of Israel", as Pope John Paul II put it, "who during the Nazi persecution remained united, as a Catholic, in fidelity and love to the crucified Lord Jesus Christ, and, as a Jew, to her people.
SOURCE http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/T/stteresabenedictaofthecross.asp


TODAY'S GOSPEL

Matthew 17: 22 - 27

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22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men,

23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day." And they were greatly distressed.

24 When they came to Caper'na-um, the collectors of the half-shekel tax went up to Peter and said, "Does not your teacher pay the tax?"

25 He said, "Yes." And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from others?"

26 And when he said, "From others," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free.

27 However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook, and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel; take that and give it to them for me and for yourself."
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