Born as Edith Stein, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross became greatly targeted by Nazis in Germany. She spent a great deal of her life focusing on the cross and what it means for Christ and fr each of us. About her final book, the Science of the Cross, she said this:”Once can only learn the science of the Cross by feeling the Cross in one’s own person.”
Today I went to St. John, Indiana, where there is a beautiful outdoor trail of the stations of the cross. More on this excellent construction later! But, at the top of the hill is a parish church, and from the outside it looks absolutely gorgeous. Sad to say though, on the inside, it is not exactly traditional. First thing I noticed: there was a “flying Jesus” hung from the ceiling, but no cross. St. Benedicta would have shouted.
I guess sometimes it’s easier not to think about the cross, because it means we have to suffer. And it means that the faith makes demands of us. But that’s why we must focus on it!
St. Teresa offers us some terrific advice that I think we’d all do well to take to heart:
God is there in these moments of rest and can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. Then the rest of the day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace. And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the rasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him. Then you will be able to rest in Him — really rest — and start the next day as a new life.
Here is a prayer she prayed:
O my God, fill my soul with holy joy, courage and strength to serve You. Enkindle Your love in me and then walk with me along the next stretch of road before me. I do not see very far ahead, but when I have arrived where the horizon now closes down, a new prospect will prospect will open before me, and I shall meet it with peace.
St. Teresia Benedicta ac Cruce: Pray for us!