"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68


Friday, 09 August 2013

In Europe: feast of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), patron of Europe - Proper readings

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein),

Virgin, Martyr, Patron of Europe

Readings for the Feast in Europe

A reading from the book of Hosea 2: 16b, 17b, 21-22

Thus says the Lord:
I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart.
She shall respond there as in the days of her youth, when she came up from the land of Egypt.
I will espouse you to me forever: I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy;
I will espouse you in fidelity, and you shall know the LORD.

Psalm: 45: 11-12, 14-15, 16-17

Listen, my daughter, and understand; pay me careful heed.
Forget your people and your father's house,
that the king might desire your beauty.
He is your lord.

All glorious is the king's daughter as she enters,
her raiment threaded with gold;
In embroidered apparel she is led to the king.
The maids of her train are presented to the king.

They are led in with glad and joyous acclaim;
they enter the palace of the king.
The throne of your fathers your sons will have;
you shall make them princes through all the land.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 25: 1-13.

Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise ones replied, 'No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.'
While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said, 'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!'
But he said in reply,'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.


Pope Benedict XVI
General Audience, 13 August 2008 (© Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

"Jesus is also here in our midst"

    Those who pray never lose hope, even when they find themselves in a difficult and even humanly hopeless plight. Sacred Scripture teaches us this and Church history bears witness to this. In fact, how many examples we could cite of situations in which it was precisely prayer that sustained the journey of Saints and of the Christian people! Among the testimonies of our epoch I would like to mention the examples of two Saints whom we are commemorating in these days: Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Edith Stein, whose feast we celebrated on 9 August, and Maximilian Mary Kolbe, whom we will commemorate tomorrow, on 14 August, the eve of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Both ended their earthly life with martyrdom in the concentration camp of Auschwitz. Their lives might seem to have been a defeat, but it is precisely in their martyrdom that the brightness of Love which dispels the gloom of selfishness and hatred shines forth. The following words are attributed to St Maximilian Kolbe, who is said to have spoken them when the Nazi persecution was raging: "Hatred is not a creative force: only love is creative"...

    On 6 August the following year, three days before her tragic end, Edith Stein approaching some Sisters in the monastery of Echt, in the Netherlands, said to them: "I am ready for anything. Jesus is also here in our midst. Thus far I have been able to pray very well and I have said with all my heart: "Ave, Crux, spes unica'". Witnesses who managed to escape the terrible massacre recounted that while Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, dressed in the Carmelite habit, was making her way, consciously, toward death, she distinguished herself by her conduct full of peace, her serene attitude and her calm behaviour, attentive to the needs of all. Prayer was the secret of this Saint, Co-Patroness of Europe, who, "Even after she found the truth in the peace of the contemplative life, she was to live to the full the mystery of the Cross" (John Paul II; Spes Aedificandi).

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