Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Saint August 9 : St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross : #EdithStein : #Jewish #convert


Edith Stein was born in Breslau on 12 October 1891, the youngest of 11, as her family were celebrating Yom Kippur, that most important Jewish festival, the Feast 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 only just turned two. Her mother, a very devout, hard-working, strong-willed and truly wonderful woman, now had to fend for herself and 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 1913, Edith Stein transferred to G6ttingen University, to study under the mentorship of 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, whereby the world as we perceive it does not merely exist in a Kantian way, in our subjective perception. His pupils saw his philosophy as a return to objects: "back to things". Husserl's phenomenology unwittingly led many of his pupils to the Christian faith. In G6ttingen Edith Stein also met the philosopher Max Scheler, who directed her attention to Roman Catholicism. Nevertheless, she did not neglect her "bread-and-butter" studies and passed her degree with distinction in January 1915, though she did not follow it up with teacher training.
In 1916, she followed Husserl as his assistant to the German city of Freiburg, where she passed her doctorate summa cum laude (with the utmost distinction) in 1917, after writing a thesis on "The Problem of Empathy."
Edith Stein had been good friends with Husserl's Göttingen assistant, Adolf Reinach, and his wife.
When Reinach fell in Flanders in November 1917, Edith went to Göttingen 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 with a woman of faith.
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."
. 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 by the baptismal font, wearing Hedwig  Conrad-Martius' white wedding cloak. Hedwig washer 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."
After her conversion she went straight to Breslau: "Mother," she said, "I am a Catholic." The two women cried. Hedwig Conrad Martius wrote: "Behold, two Israelites indeed, in whom is no deceit!" (cf. John 1:47).
Immediately after her conversion she wanted to join a Carmelite convent.
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 Aryan Law of the Nazis made it impossible for Edith Stein to continue teaching. "If I can't go on here, then there are no longer any opportunities for me in Germany," she wrote; "I had become a stranger in the world."
The Arch-Abbot of Beuron, Walzer, now no longer stopped her from entering a Carmelite convent. While in Speyer, she had already taken a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience. In 1933 she met with the prioress of the Carmelite Convent in Cologne. "Human activities 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 good-bye 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 get to know 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.
Edith joined the Carmelite Convent of Cologne on 14 October, and her investiture took place on 15 April, 1934. The mass was celebrated by the Arch-Abbot of Beuron. Edith Stein was now known as Sister Teresia Benedicta a Cruce - Teresa, Blessed of the Cross.
When she made her eternal profession 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 was to be devoted to this author.
On 9 November 1938 the anti-Semitism of the Nazis became apparent to the whole world.
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 letter of protest written by the Dutch Roman 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 Sister Teresia Benedicta a Cruce, her sister and many other 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, as a Catholic during Nazi persecution, remained faithful to the crucified Lord Jesus Christ and, as a Jew, to her people in loving faithfulness."
EDITED FROM www.vatican.va

#Novena to St. Mary Mackillop - Mary of the Cross - #Australia - #Mackillop


NOVENA THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF MARY MACKILLOP (St MARY of the CROSS)
A novenea is a prayer repeated for nine consecutive days, or once a week for nine weeks. It can be prayed by individuals or groups. A Statement of Faith should precede the saying of the prayer each time.
 The following is an example of such a statement of faith: We believe in God’s everlasting love for all and through faith and great confidence in that love our petition will be granted. Therefore, in the desire to promote God’s greater honour and glory, we pray, through the intercession of St Mary of the Cross, for (insert intention) .
 The statement of faith is followed by this prayer: Most loving God, we thank you for the example of St Mary of the Cross, who, in her living of the gospel, witnessed to the human dignity of each person. She faced life’s challenges with faith and courage. We pray, through her intercession, for our need – (insert name)'s return to good health. We make this prayer through Jesus, the Lord. Amen.
Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be
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Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday August 8, 2017 - #Eucharist


Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest
Lectionary: 408


Reading 1NM 12:1-13

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on the pretext
of the marriage he had contracted with a Cushite woman.
They complained, "Is it through Moses alone that the LORD speaks?
Does he not speak through us also?"
And the LORD heard this.
Now, Moses himself was by far the meekest man on the face of the earth.
So at once the LORD said to Moses and Aaron and Miriam,
"Come out, you three, to the meeting tent."
And the three of them went.
Then the LORD came down in the column of cloud,
and standing at the entrance of the tent,
called Aaron and Miriam.
When both came forward, he said,
"Now listen to the words of the LORD:

Should there be a prophet among you,
in visions will I reveal myself to him,
in dreams will I speak to him;
not so with my servant Moses!
Throughout my house he bears my trust:
face to face I speak to him;
plainly and not in riddles.
The presence of the LORD he beholds.

Why, then, did you not fear to speak against my servant Moses?"

So angry was the LORD against them that when he departed,
and the cloud withdrew from the tent,
there was Miriam, a snow-white leper!
When Aaron turned and saw her a leper, he said to Moses,
"Ah, my lord! Please do not charge us with the sin
that we have foolishly committed!
Let her not thus be like the stillborn babe
that comes forth from its mother's womb
with its flesh half consumed."
Then Moses cried to the LORD, "Please, not this! Pray, heal her!"

Responsorial PsalmPS 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 6CD-7, 12-13

R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense;
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned;
and done what is evil in your sight."
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
That you may be justified in your sentence,
vindicated when you condemn.
Indeed, in guilt was I born,
and in sin my mother conceived me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not off from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

AlleluiaJN 1:49B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rabbi, you are the Son of God;
you are the King of Israel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 14:22-36

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
"It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid."
Peter said to him in reply,
"Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."
He said, "Come."
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
"Truly, you are the Son of God."

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed.

OrMT 15:1-2, 10-14

The following text may be substituted,
especially in Year A when the above Gospel is read on Monday.


Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?
They do not wash their hands when they eat a meal."
He summoned the crowd and said to them, "Hear and understand.
It is not what enters one's mouth that defiles the man;
but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one."
Then his disciples approached and said to him,
"Do you know that the Pharisees took offense
when they heard what you said?"
He said in reply, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted
will be uprooted.
Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.
If a blind man leads a blind man,
both will fall into a pit."

#Novena to St. Dominic - Founder of Dominican Order - SHARE - #StDominic #OP

Novena to St. Dominic
Say once a day for 9 days. Especially on the Feast of St. Dominic. 
 O renowned champion of the faith of Christ, most holy saint Dominic, who didst renounce the honour and dignity of an earthly principality to embrace the poor, laborious, and mortified life which should distinguish a disciple of Him Who has said: "If any man will come after Me, let him take up his cross and follow Me."
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 O burning torch, who being thyself consumed with the fire of divine love, didst incessantly labour to enkindle that sacred flame in the hearts of others, look down upon me from that throne of glory where thou enjoyest the reward of all thy labours, and obtain that some sparks of that blessed fire may be lighted in my soul, to animate and encourage me under any crosses or trials with which it shall please the divine goodness to visit me. Thou, O great Saint, regardest as nothing all the afflictions thou didst endure, and all the toils thou didst undergo for the promotion of God's holy cause; obtain, I beseech Thee, that the same ardent love which strengthened thee, may make sweet to me labours, humiliations, disgraces, or whatever other mortifications I may have to suffer for the Name of Jesus. May I ever bear in mind that nothing can happen to me but by the particular dispensation of a God Who is infinitely wise, and therefore knows what is best for my welfare; infinitely powerful, and consequently able to effect it; and above all, infinitely merciful and loving, Who has laid down His life for my redemption, and continues daily to give new proofs of His love and bounty. O tender Father of the poor who, when all other resources were exhausted, didst offer thyself for their relief, obtain for me that true spirit of compassion for the suffering members of Jesus Christ, which shone forth so conspicuously in thy holy life. May I, by charity to those whom Jesus so dearly loves, lay up for myself treasures in heaven, where thou now enjoyest that which the eye hath not seen, nor the ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, but which God has prepared for those who love Him, and who prove themselves His Disciples by the observance of His Divine precept "love one another." I praise and thank God for the high degree of sanctity to which He had raised thee, and the special privileges by which He has distinguished thee. I conjure thee, by that gratitude with which thou shalt for all eternity be penetrated for thy Divine Benefactor, implore for me the grace to root out of my heart whatever is not agreeable in His sight, especially that evil habit by which I most frequently offend Him.
Obtain likewise the favours I request in this Novena, through thy powerful intercession.
 (Mention your intentions here)
 O glorious Mother of God, Queen of the most sacred Rosary, thou who didst love Dominic with the affection of a mother, and were most tenderly loved and honoured by him, look upon me, for his sake, with an eye of pity, deign to join with him in presenting these petitions to thy most Blessed Jesus. I sincerely desire from this moment to love Him with all my heart, and serve Him with all my strength, and now place myself under thy powerful protection, as a sure means of obtaining all the graces necessary to serve Him faithfully here, that I may eternally rejoice with Him hereafter. Amen.

Saint August 8 : St. Mary Mackillop : 1st Saint of #Australia


ST. MARY MACKILLOP was born on January 15, 1842 and died on August 8, 1909. She is also known as St. Mary of the Cross. She founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart with Father Julian Tenison Woods. They focus on education for the poor. She was canonized on October 17, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. (Image: SQPN.com) She is the first Australian Canonized Saint. Mary Helen MacKillop was born in Fitzroy, Victoria. Her parents lived in Roybridge, Inverness-Shire, Scotland before their emigration to Australia. Her father was Alexander MacKillop and her mother was Flora MacDonald. They arrived in Melbourn in 1840. They had eight children: Margaret, 1843–1872, John 1845–1867, Annie 1848–1929, Alexandrina 1850–1882, Donald 1853–1925, Alick died at 11 months and Peter 1857–1878. Mary was the eldest. Her brother Donald became a Jesuit priest and her sister Alexandrina a nun. She was educated in private schools and became a teacher. She went to Penola, in 1866, with her sisters Annie and Lexie to open a Catholic school. Fr. Woods was made director of education and was the founder, along with MacKillop, of a school they opened in a stable. 

In 1867, MacKillop became Mother Superior of the new order Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. (Image Cultural Catholic.com) They moved to the convent in Adelaide. Since then her order has grown and she is famous among Australians for her work.