I just finished reading a book I found difficult to put down. It’s the life and death of Edith Stein or Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross as she is also known. I had heard of her before and even been at Mass on her feast day, but knew nothing of her story. A very gripping story indeed of a mystical woman who was killed in a very frightening time. In some ways I think today is an equally frightening time. As a young boy I was confirmed by the bishop. In those days the bishop would slap us on the cheek with his gloved hand as a reminder that someday we might have to suffer for our faith. At the time I used to listen to the Allegany Franciscans who taught me speak of missionaries in far off places who had to suffer terrible fates, some almost worse than death. The thought of such ends frightened me as it would almost any child.
“Will you remain faithful to the Crucified?, she asked. ‘Consider carefully! The world is in flames the battle between Christ and the Antichrist has broken into the open. If you decide for Christ, it could cost you your life. Carefully consider what you promise. Taking and renewing vows is deadly serious business.”–St. Edith Stein–September 1939.
I recommend, Meet Edith Stein by Cynthia Cavnar