Tag Archives: Carmelite saints and blesseds

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

edith steinSaint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (in history she is known as Edith Stein). The Church honors her with the title of  Virgin and Martyr due to her vocation as a nun and one killed for belief in Christian faith.

Stein was born on October 12, 1891, in Breslau, Poland. Her family was Jewish. By 1922, after reading the saints, in particular, Saint Teresa of Avila, and on matters in the Catholic faith, she was baptized at the Cologne Cathedral. Eleven years later she entered the Carmelite Order in Cologne before being sent to the Carmel in Echt, Holland. With her sister Rose, Teresa was arrested and sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. There she died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz in 1942 at the age of fifty-one. Stein was beatified in 1987 and canonized on October 11, 1998.

It is said that she made a claim about Husserl that “Whoever seeks truth seeks God, whether he knows it or not.” Professor Husserl was not one to speak about his religious faith because he wanted to maintain a separation between faith and reason. Yet, we know from experience, that faith and reason go hand-in-hand. Catholics ought to take a lesson here: a person who claims Christian faith faith can not be diffident reading the same. One can say with a degree of certainty that Stein’s philosophical research was one of a constant quest for God. Saint Teresa Benedicta’s witness is that whoever seeks truth through philosophy seeks God, because God is Truth. We therefore hold that that whoever seeks truth is, in fact, seeking God. There is a primacy of faith and reason in the Catholic mind.

Blessed Titus Bradsma

Titus BradsmaPray for us!

Saint John of the Cross

Juan de la CruzToday, we mark the liturgical memorial of a magnificent saint (all saints are magnificent!), the 16th century Carmelite friar, John of the Cross.

A friend posted the following on contemplation:

“Contemplation is nothing less than a secret, peaceful and loving infusion from God. The road of contemplation is where God himself feeds and refreshes the soul directly, without the soul’s help or meditation.

There is a remarkable transformation of the heart’s desires as a result of surrendering to God in our soul’s center. Our desire and God’s desire now join in a consonance of desire.

The nature of love is to be united, linked up with and at one with the object of its love. Only love unites and cements the soul with God. The soul lives in that which it loves.

Prayer, by its nature, involves a sense of incompleteness and thus of longing in truth.

The more God wants to give us, the more He makes us desire–even to the point of leaving us empty in order to fill us with goods. Be careful that you do not lack the desire to be poor and in want.

In following Christ in the contemplative way, without laying down one’s own ground rules and conditions, we grow into dimensions of the reality of God’s love which lie beyond what we can comprehend, experience or place in any systematic order. We are stripped of all guarantees which are rooted in the self, and we begin to live on the faith, trust and love that we have for God. We now experience God more as he is–as sheer Mystery.

Prayer ultimately leads us to go beyond anything that can be known. We travel unknowing into an unknown land and we learn how to stay there, knowing naught.”

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity child picBlessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, OCD, is honored on this date by Mother Church but because it is Sunday, her feast is either transferred or not commemorated in the sacred Liturgy today. She lived from 1880-1906 and beatified by Pope John Paul II on November 25, 1984.

Her last words were: “I am going to Light, to Love, to Life!”

As we move through history we come to have real remembrances of our saints like this child photo of Blessed Elizabeth.

Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified

St Mary of Jesus CrucifiedThe saints lead us to a deeper relationship with Christ. A new saint of ours, Mary of Jesus Crucified (1846-1878), known in history as Mariam Baouardy (also spelled Mariam Bawardy) was a Carmelite nun. She as a Stigmatic and Victim Soul. She was a communicant of the Melkite Church.

You can read more of her history here.

The biographer of Saint Mary of Jesus says that she heard in a clear voice from Jesus, “This is how everything passes. If you will give me your heart, I shall always remain with you.” These words penetrated and took root in the young heart of Mariam.

Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified, as a Palestinian Carmelite nun was recognized as being filled with the gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit to an extraordinary degree (think of St Paul). Her mission now is to intercede for us with the Trinity; no doubt one her intentions is ask for the gift of conversion of Islam to Jesus Christ.

Pray to her for peace in the world and Church.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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