On the feast of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), the first reading is taken from the book of the prophet Hosea (2,16.17b.21-22):
“Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will lead her into the desert and I will speak to her heart. She will respond to me as in the days of her youth, as when she came up out of 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.”
With love and benevolence, God unites himself to His people and thus, to each soul. He speaks intimately to each heart, in the silence of the “desert”, away from the worldly clamor.
Let St Teresa be an example for us today. She was a woman of keen intelligence, a fine career, but her heart was captured by Christ Crucified. It is only there she was satisfied – to give herself to a life of loving and studying the Greatest Love. There, in the desert of the Carmel – the cloister – did she find her greatest treasure: St Teresa Benedicta wrote:
“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).”
Edith Stein was arrested by the Gestapo on 2 August 1942, while she was in the chapel with the other sisters. On 7 August, early in the morning, 987 Jews were deported to Auschwitz. It was probably on 9 August that Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cruce, her sister and many other of her people were gassed. Biography