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Food for Thought: Edith Stein - Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, OCD

514px-DBP_1983_1162_Edith_SteinThis post is late for her feastday, August 9th, but here are the notes I took from a reading of her life by Waltraud Herbstrith.

On encouraging those who care for others despite difficulty:

Whether your contact with people comes through providing medical care, giving financial support or offering legal assistance, the possibility always exists for involving the whole person...This will impose an even greater burden on the capacity to love than a family does. Here, the natural ties are missing, the number of people is much greater, and, for the most part, they are men and women whose situation and current state of mind will tend to make them repulsive instead of attractive.


On the reception of her decision to enter the convent by her family:

Christians themselves often have trouble understanding the value of a contemplative vocation; for the Steins, it was an impossibility. The day came when Frau Stein asked her daughter, "What do you plan on doing with the sisters in Cologne?" When Edith answered, "Join them," peace at home was a thing of the past. Everyone in the family felt crushed by the tragedy. Edith herself clung to her friends to keep from faltering in her decision; her mother, not daring to display her anger openly, wept in desperation; the brothers and sisters did all they could to change their sister's mind. 

"Why did you have to get to know him?" demanded Frau Stein. "He was a good man, I'm not saying anything against him. But why did he have to go and make himself God?"

from Edith Stein: A Biography by Waltraud Herbstrith (see reading list)