Quote of the day: 27 January

We are traveling East.

Saint Edith Stein

7 August 1942
Schifferstadt Railway Station

 


Today we remember the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Concentration Camp on 27 January 1945. The website of the Auschwitz Memorial provides the most accurate detail concerning liberation day:

Soldiers of the 60th Army of the First Ukrainian Front opened the gates of Auschwitz Concentration Camp on January 27, 1945. The prisoners greeted them as authentic liberators. It was a paradox of history that soldiers formally representing Stalinist totalitarianism brought freedom to the prisoners of Nazi totalitarianism.

The Red Army obtained detailed information about Auschwitz only after the liberation of Cracow, and was therefore unable to reach the gates of Auschwitz before January 27, 1945.

About 7 thousand prisoners awaited liberation in the Main Camp, Birkenau, and Monowitz. Before and soon after January 27, Soviet soldiers liberated about 500 prisoners in the Auschwitz sub-camps in Stara Kuźnia, Blachownia Śląska, Świętochłowice, Wesoła, Libiąż, Jawiszowice, and Jaworzno.

Over 230 Soviet soldiers, including the commander of the 472nd regiment, Col. Siemen Lvovich Besprozvanny, died in combat while liberating the Main Camp, Birkenau, Monowitz, and the city of Oświęcim. The majority of them are buried at the municipal cemetery in Oświęcim.

In the Main Camp and Birkenau, Soviet soldiers discovered the corpses of about 600 prisoners who had been shot by the withdrawing SS or who had succumbed to exhaustion.

At the website of the Auschwitz Memorial, you can learn more about the escape of the SS and the final victims, the Soviet documentary film that chronicled the liberation of the camp, the medical assistance provided by the Soviet army and Polish volunteers for the liberated prisoners, the children who were liberated at Auschwitz—including the Jewish twins who were subjects of Dr. Josef Mengele’s experimentation, and Polish commissions to investigate the war crimes.

You can search all of our posts concerning Auschwitz here.

 

Birkenau entrance Kyle Simourd flickr 1951804999
The main and well-known entrance to the Birkenau portion of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp received all the transports of those who were destined to die in the gas chambers | Kyle Simourd / Flickr

Quote of the day: 26 January

Yesterday, when I looked at a picture of the Infant of Prague, it suddenly occurred to me that he is wearing imperial coronation dress and surely it was not accidental that his efficacy should come to the fore precisely in Prague. After all, Prague has been the court of the old German or Roman Emperors, respectively, and the city makes such a majestic impression that no other city known to me can compare with it, not even Paris and Vienna. The Little Jesus came exactly when the political imperial grandeur came to an end in Prague. Is he not the secret Emperor who will someday put an end to all misery? After all, he holds the reins even though people believe they are the rulers.

Saint Edith Stein

Letter 333 to Mother Johanna van Weersth, OCD

 

Jezulatko closeup
The miraculous image of the Infant Jesus venerated in the Discalced Carmelite Church of Our Lady Victorious, Prague | Credit: Discalced Carmelites

 

 

Stein, E. 1993, Self-Portrait in Letters, 1916-1942, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Discalced Carmelite, translated from the German by Koeppel, J, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

27 January: St. Henry de Osso y Cervello

January 27
SAINT HENRY DE OSSO Y CERVELLO
Priest

Optional Memorial

Henry was born at Vinebre, Catalonia, Spain, on October 16, 1840, and was ordained a priest on September 21, 1867. He was an apostle to young people in teaching them about their faith and inspired various movements for the teaching of the Gospel. As a spiritual director he was fascinated by St. Teresa of Jesus, the great teacher in the ways of prayer and Daughter of the Church who is better known in the English-speaking world as St. Teresa of Avila. In the light of her teaching, he founded the Society of St. Teresa of Jesus (1876) dedicated to educating women in the school of the Gospel and following the example of St. Teresa. He gave himself to preaching and the apostolate through the printing press. He underwent many severe trials and sufferings. He died at Gilet, Valencia, Spain, on January 27, 1896.

He was canonized on July 16, 1993, in Madrid, by St. John Paul II.

From the Common of Pastors

Office of Readings

The Second Reading
(A Month in the Heart of Jesus, Prologue, EEO III, Rome, 1977, pp. 456-458)

From the writings of Saint Henry de Osso, Priest

Identification with Jesus Christ

This is our main endeavor: to think, to feel, to love as Christ Jesus, to act and to speak as He — in a word, to conform our whole life to Christ’s. No one can be saved unless they are formed in the image of Christ. To conform our life to Christ’s, we need, above all, to study His life, know it, and meditate upon it, not only in its outward appearance, but by immersing ourselves in the thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams of Jesus Christ so as to do everything in union with Him. In His goodness, Jesus Himself invites us, both in word and in action, to do this. For example, if we do not know the sentiments of His heart so as to put them into practice, how can we learn from His gentleness and humility? Or, how can we come into His presence each time we act in order to imitate Him? Christ lived, ate, slept, spoke, kept silent, walked, worked, sweat, got tired, rested, was hungry, thirsty and poor; in a word, He suffered and died for us and for our salvation.

Why is it, then, that we cannot make or imagine Jesus as real and down to earth, but only in theory and as the ideal, which is the reason we do not love and imitate Him in everything, as we must? Jesus is our brother, flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood, bone of our bones. This is who our Jesus is, true God and true Man, alive, personal, and intimate. He let Himself be seen; He lived and spoke with us. For our salvation, being the eternal Word of God, He descended from heaven, became flesh, suffered, died, rose, ascended into heaven, and remained among us until the end of time to be our companion, our consolation, and our food in the Blessed Sacrament.

Eternal life, then, our only happiness in time and eternity, consists in knowing Jesus more intimately. How happy will be the person who learns this lesson and lives it daily. What an inspiring thought! I will live, sleep, speak, listen, work, suffer — I will do everything, I will suffer everything in union with Jesus, with the same divine intention and sentiments that Jesus had and with which He suffered, which is what Jesus wants of me.

Whoever does this — and all of us are called to do it — will live in this life the life of the world to come and will be transformed into Jesus, able to say with St. Paul: “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me.”

Responsory

R/. I rejoice in the trials I bear and make up in my flesh that which is lacking in the sufferings of Christ *
for the sake of His body which is the Church.
V/. I have been crucified with Christ, and now I no longer live but Christ lives in me: *
For the sake of His body which is the Church.

Prayer

Lord God,
in your priest Saint Henry de Osso
you wonderfully combined
the ideals of the apostolic community:
a life of continual prayer
and of untiring apostolic activity.
By his intercession may we persevere in the love of Christ
and serve your Church by word and deed.

We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

OSSO_Enr12

Quote of the day: 25 January

We have the Savior not only in the form of reports of witnesses to his life. He is present to us in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The hours of adoration before the Highest Good, and listening for the voice of the eucharistic God, are simultaneously “meditation on the Law of the Lord” and “watching in prayer.” But the highest level is reached “when the Law is deep within our hearts” (Ps 40:8), when we are so united with the triune God, whose temple we are, that his Spirit rules all we do or omit. Then it does not mean we are forsaking the Lord when we do the work that obedience requires of us. Work is unavoidable as long as we are subject to nature’s laws and to the necessities of life. And, following the word and example of the apostle Paul, our holy Rule commands us to earn our bread by the work of our hands. But for us this work is always merely a means and must never be an end in itself. To stand before the face of God continues to be the real content of our lives.

Saint Edith Stein

On the History and Spirit of Carmel (excerpt)

 

40 hours oxford lawrenceop flickr 1642599120
Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. / Flickr

 

 

Stein, E 2014, The Hidden Life: Essays, Meditations, Spiritual Texts, translated from the German by Stein W, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 24 January

As an organized power, the state has the potential possessed by no other social structure to draw all worldly purposes into its realm and either further or to suppress them. The family’s existence and prosperity depend on its protection.

Saint Edith Stein

Problems of Women’s Education
Chapter IV: Educators and Our Cultural Heritage

 

Annual medical event invaluable to Valley residents
Texas Military Department / Flickr

 

 

Stein, E 1996, Essays on Woman, 2nd edition, translated from the German by Oben, F, ICS Publications, Washington D.C.

Quote of the day: 23 January

Surrender to Christ does not make us blind and deaf to the needs of others—on the contrary. We now seek for God’s image in each human being and want, above all, to help each human being win his freedom.

Accordingly, we can now also say: the intrinsic value of woman consists essentially in exceptional receptivity for God’s work in the soul, and this value comes to unalloyed development if we abandon ourselves confidently and unresistingly to this work.

Only now have we come to the second part of our theme—the significance of woman for national life. This significance presents itself as a simple conclusion from what has been said.

What is, then, the great sickness of our time and of our people?

There is an inner disunion, a complete deficiency of set convictions and strong principles, an aimless drifting. Therefore, the great mass of humanity seeks for an anesthetic in ever new, ever more refined delights.

Those who wish to maintain a sober level of life, in order to protect themselves from contemporary turmoil, frequently annihilate this level by one-sided professional work; but even they cannot do anything to escape the turmoil.

Only whole human beings as we have described them are immune to the contemporary sickness: such beings are steadfast on eternal first principles, unperturbed in their views and in their actions by the changing modes of thoughts, follies, and depravities surrounding them. Every such individual is like a pillar to which many can fasten themselves, thereby attaining a firm footing.

Consequently, when women themselves are once again whole persons and when they help others to become so, they create healthy, energetic spores supplying healthy energy to the entire national body.

Saint Edith Stein

The Significance of Woman’s Intrinsic Value in National Life (excerpt)
Lecture given at the 15th convention of the Bavarian Catholic Women Teachers in Ludwigshafen on the Rhine, 12 April 1928

 

mothers reaction davidswiftphotography flickr 2200020855
David Swift / Flickr

 

 

Stein, E 1996, Essays on Woman, 2nd edition, translated from the German by Oben, F, ICS Publications, Washington D.C.

Quote of the day: 22 January

In February 1889, Saint Louis Martin was committed to Bon Sauveur Mental Hospital in Caen, France. That difficult closing chapter in the saint’s life certainly was preceded by difficult days and months for the family. St. Louis wandered away from his home and disappeared, much like dementia patients today. This 1889 letter from Céline Martin to her cousin Jeanne Guérin, dated on 21 or 22 January, asking her to contact Saint Zélie’s brother, Isidore, gives us insight into the challenges that Céline faced as she cared for her father.


My dear little Jeanne,

You can write to my uncle (he’s in Evreux) that the day really wasn’t bad. This morning, the same restlessness as yesterday, no shouting, laughter for 1 or 2 hours, crying, clapping hands, conversations as if I were in his room and he would respond to me about something. This afternoon a complete calm, even sleep, he said that of course, I had made him take something to make him sleep. He wanted to be alone. There were loud shouts and again he was having conversations with himself.

Dear little Sister, the Cross is heavy but Jesus is there. He carried it for us, why shouldn’t we carry it for him?

Our Lord told Blessed Margaret Mary [Alacoque] that the Cross was the most precious pledge of his love that he could give us in this life.

St. Francis Xavier used to say: The absence of the Cross is the absence of life!

How vile the earth seems to those who see it from Heaven.

Dearest little sister, life is short.

… Our little boat is at the moment being rocked by a violent storm, the furious waves are submerging it and almost swallowing it up but the dear Captain—Jesus—won’t let it sink. Soon—the port… Soon—joy, rest, happiness! …

Right away, we are not giving Jesus pearls, but diamonds, jewels of all kinds. It’s up to us to draw from the source that is inexhaustible and this source is suffering, bitterness—this treasure is the Cross!

Your little sister who loves you

Céline

 

Lost Tomas Vimmr IGsize
Lost memories … | Tomas Vimmr / Flickr

 

 

This English translation from the French original text of Céline Martin's letter is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission and attribution.

 

Secretario de Estado insta a Daniel Ortega a detener la represión y dejar de violar los derechos humanos de los nicaragüenses — Obrera de la Tecla

Desde el territorio costarricense, el Secretario de Estado de Estados Unidos, Michael Pompeo, llamó a Daniel Ortega a detener la represión y dejar de violentar los derechos humanos de los nicaragüenses. La entrada Secretario de Estado insta a Daniel Ortega a detener la represión y dejar de violar los derechos humanos de los nicaragüenses se…

via Secretario de Estado insta a Daniel Ortega a detener la represión y dejar de violar los derechos humanos de los nicaragüenses — Obrera de la Tecla

 

Pompeo in CostaRica 21jan2020 US State Dept Flickr 49420449813
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo holds a joint press conference with Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada on January 21, 2020 in San Jose, Costa Rica. [State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain]

Quote of the day: 21 January

JESUS

 

The grace of the Holy Spirit be with your honor, mi padre, and may he give you health this Lent for the work I see that you have ahead of you. I am wondering if you will have to be moving from place to place. For the love of God watch out lest you have a fall along the way. For since my arm has been in the state it is, I am very careful in this regard. It is still swollen, as is also my hand, and covered with plaster, which looks like armor, and so I get little use out of it…

I don’t know when to stop when I write you. My brother always tells me to give you his best wishes. Accept these now all together and along with them those of all the sisters. May our Lord watch over you and bring you here soon, for your presence is very necessary, both for my sake and for other reasons…

May God also give you, padre mio, all the blessings I desire for you, amen.

It is the First Sunday of Lent…

Your paternity’s unworthy servant and daughter,

Teresa of Jesus

 

Letter 230 to Father Jerome Gracián
Avila, 16 February 1578

 

Featured Image -- 7177
The relic of the incorrupt left hand of St. Teresa is venerated in the Church of La Merced under the custody of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Ronda, Spain | Credit: Teresa de la rueca a la pluma

 

With great solemnity, in the presence of the government authorities and the people, the relic of the incorrupt hand of Saint Teresa of Jesus, which had been stolen by the Marxists in Ronda was returned to the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Ronda on 14 December 1975. Generalissimo Francisco Franco kept it with great devotion during all of his rule as Head of State in Spain. According to accounts from the Discalced Carmelites, he even wore it during his travels. Doña Carmen Polo de Franco handed over the precious relic to the Primate of Spain, Cardinal Marcelo González Martín, and the latter in turn transferred custody of the relic to the Bishop of Málaga, Ramón Buxarrais Ventura. Mother María de Cristo, who was prioress in 1937 when she was forced to hand the relic over to the Communists, was 85 years old when the incorrupt hand was returned to the nuns in Ronda.

 

 

Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

‘La incorrupta’, en el Museo Reina Sofía

Teresa, de la rueca a la pluma

mano-santa-teresa-01Este martes 27 de septiembre se ha presentado a los medios la película La incorrupta, una pieza de 36 minutos de duración realizada por la artista Tamar Guimarães (Belo Horizonte, Brasil, 1967) para el Museo Reina Sofía de Madrid, dentro del programa Fisuras y que se proyectará desde hoy hasta el 13 de marzo.

El argumento (ficticio) gira en torno a la propuesta de una comisaria llamada Judith que pretende incluir en una exposición del Museo la llamada “Mano incorrupta” de Santa Teresa y el debate que ello suscita:

…un relicario del siglo XVII que contiene la famosa mano incorrupta de Santa Teresa de Jesús, custodiada por las monjas carmelitas de la iglesia de la Merced en Ronda, Málaga. El hecho de presentar un objeto de devoción religiosa en el contexto de una exposición de arte contemporáneo provoca diversas reacciones entre los trabajadores del museo, que plantean cuestiones prácticas…

View original post 199 more words

Quote of the day: 20 January

“Germany will be my grave.”

 

I shall say Mass for George on November 24, the feast of our father St. John of the Cross. On that day, I am leaving to minister to the French prisoners interned in Germany. French priests who wished to go were refused permits. I felt I could not refuse this mission, since Jesus says to those he rejects, “I was in prison and you did not visit me.” People think I am suited to the work because I have relatives in Germany. So I am setting out under the protection of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I am looking forward to bringing some consolation to these prisoners who are in such great need.

Hermann Cohen to his sister, writing from Montreux, Switzerland
Late November 1870

When Cohen arrived in Berlin, he took up the chaplaincy of Spandau prisoner of war camp, about nine miles from the capital. There were 5,300 French prisoners in the camp. While ministering to their spiritual needs, he also didn’t overlook their material ones. He would arrive at the camp armed with parcels of clothes and linen, which he distributed to those in need during the bitter Berlin winter.

I am at Spandau where you made your First Communion in the sacristy. I vest in this sacristy every day to say Mass and preach to the French prisoners. About 500 of them are ill with typhus and dysentery. About 400 attend Mass every day, and I preach to them. Then I visit the hospital to minister to the sick; and in the afternoon, I visit the barracks to see those who are well. Pray earnestly for their conversion; many of the healthy have not been to confession yet.

Hermann Cohen to his sister, writing from Spandau
Early December 1870

A last fragment of a letter from Hermann Cohen has survived. His beloved nephew George Raunheim has noted on it, “N.B. End of a letter written on 11 December in Spandau, twenty days before his death.”

Let us love Jesus more every day! Father Augustine. An unworthy sinner who wishes to be converted for the new year that is beginning. Amen.

On January 9, Cohen contracted smallpox while anointing two of its victims. His family afterward believed that he did not have the spatula with him with which he usually anointed the sick. He had a scratch on his finger through which he contracted the disease. A Capuchin friar in Spandau gave an account of his last days in January 1871..

On Friday, the 13, Father Hermann was ill. We went to his room, and his eldest brother Albert had come from Montreux. He was being looked after by a Sister of Charity. “Well Father, I need you,” he said to me. “I have smallpox and shall be in bed for three or four weeks. I shall be unhappy if the work I have begun is not continued. Besides, the Lord can take me. You will be there to take my place.” “Father,” I said, “I hope God will leave you still longer in your ministry.” But he looked at his crucifix and said, “No, I don’t think so, I hope the Lord will take me this time.”

On January 15, he grew worse; and after a seizure, the parish priest of Spandau decided to give him the last rites. Cohen accepted them with joy and peace, which impressed everyone present. Then he renewed his Carmelite vows. He joined in the Te Deum, the Salve Regina, and the De Profundis. Then he saw his brothers Albert and Louis for the last time and asked Louis to see that he was buried in the vaults of the Cathedral of St. Hedwig in Berlin.

Two days later, his condition deteriorated. On January 19, the sister asked if he wanted her to call a priest. Cohen replied,

So I am going to die. May God’s holy will be done; besides, if I were cured, I would have to witness distressful things.

Cohen’s last hours do remind us of what St. John of the Cross wrote in his “Spiritual Canticle”:

Death cannot be bitter to the soul who loves, who finds in her all sweetness, delights of love. The soul looks upon death as her friend and spouse, and thinking of her, rejoices as on the day of her espousals. She desires the day and hour when death will come, more than the kings of this earth desire their kingdoms.

The Spiritual Canticle 11:10

He gave a last blessing to those around him at their request—his attendants, the Sister of Charity who looked after him, and a Jesuit coworker. Cohen survived the night and died quietly the next morning at about ten o’clock. He was forty-nine years of age. It was a truly heroic end to a life that, after conversion, was completely dedicated to Christian and Carmelite ministry. He was indeed a martyr of charity.

And so on a frosty morning in the course of a Berlin winter, January 20, 1871, Hermann Cohen yielded his generous soul into the arms of eternal love.

Timothy Tierney, O.C.D.

A Life of Hermann Cohen: From Franz Liszt to John of the Cross
Chapter 13: Final Mission, 1870-1871 (excerpts)

 

Winter 2016 Berlin Spandau joerg euken flickr 31397478306
Winter in Spandau, 5 December 2016 | joerg euken / Flickr

 

The official website for the cause of the beatification of the Servant of God Augustine-Mary of the Blessed Sacrament is maintained by the vice-postulator of the cause in the Discalced Carmelite Friars’ province of Avignon-Aquitaine, the Carmes de Midi. You can access the cause’s official website here; it is in published only in French. The Discalced Carmelite General Postulator in Rome also has an official website with pages and links dedicated to Father Augustine-Mary. You can access the website’s links to Hermann Cohen here; it is published only in Italian. You can find the English translation of the Prayer for the Beatification of the Servant of God Augustine-Mary of the Blessed Sacrament here. You can view our previous blog posts about Hermann Cohen here.

 

 

Tierney, T  2017,  A Life of Hermann Cohen: From Franz Liszt to John of the CrossBalboa Press,  Bloomington, IN

 

Prayer for the beatification of Father Augustine-Mary of the Blessed Sacrament (Hermann Cohen)

Mary, Immaculate Virgin Mother,

who at the grotto at Lourdes restored to health Fr Augustine-Mary of the Blessed Sacrament that he might serve you faithfully in your Order of Carmel, obtain, we pray, from the Blessed Trinity the grace…

mention your request here

through the intercession and merits of your devoted servant “whose joy was to suffer for Jesus” and to whom it was granted, in answer to his heartfelt prayer, “to consecrate his life in its entirety to God’s will, service and glory”.

Mary, Mother of God, glorify, we beseech you, your servant who, through the redeeming power of Christ present in the Holy Eucharist, was brought to the knowledge of the Truth.

Make known, we pray, this apostle who was fired with devotion to the Sacrament of your Son’s love. May he bestow upon us, priests and laity alike, his burning zeal that the Divine Presence in the Eucharist might be adored, the Mass celebrated with reverence and sincerity, and Holy Communion received frequently and with devotion.

Grant that forthwith throughout the world and especially among your chosen people, Israel, there may be established the Eucharistic Kingship of the Son of David, the Living Bread, who came down from heaven in the womb of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.

Amen.

With ecclesiastical approval

 

Report favors received to the Vice-Postulator

Postulation de la cause du Père Hermann
Monastère du Broussey
33410 RIONS
France

causeduperehermann@gmail.com

Quote of the day: 19 January

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel.”
John testified further, saying,
“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

John 1:29-34

 

John-the-Baptist-bearing-witness_MetMuseum Granacci (3)

 


“And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain” (Rv 5:6). When the seer of Patmos had this vision, the unforgettable day on the Jordan when John the Baptist showed him the “Lamb of God” who “takes away the sins of the world” (Jn 1:29) was still fresh in his memory. At that time, he had understood the word and now he understood the image. The One who had once walked along the Jordan and now appeared to him in white raiment with flaming eyes and a judge’s sword, the “first and the last” (Rv 1:17)—he had in truth accomplished what the rites of the Old Covenant had suggested symbolically. When on the most momentous and holiest day of the year the high priest entered the Holy of Holies, into the supremely holy place of God’s presence, he had previously taken two goats from the people: one on which to lay the people’s sins, which were then carried out into the wilderness; the other to sprinkle its blood on the tent and ark of the covenant (Lv 16). This was the sin offering for the people. In addition, the priest had to provide a young bullock for himself and his house as a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering. He also had to sprinkle the throne of grace with the blood of the bullock. When he had prayed, unseen by human eyes, for himself and his house and for all the people of Israel, he came out to the waiting people and sprinkled the outer altar to cleanse it from his sins and those of the people. Then he sent the living goat into the wilderness, brought forward his own burnt offering and that of the people, and had the rest of the sin offering burned before the camp (and later before the gates). The Day of Atonement was a monumental and holy day. People remained in the holy place praying and fasting. And in the evening when everything had been accomplished, there was peace and joy in their hearts because God had taken away the burden of sin and given grace…

 

John-the-Baptist-bearing-witness_MetMuseum Granacci (2)

 

But why did he choose the lamb as the preferred symbol? Why did he continue to reveal himself in this form on the eternal throne of glory? Because he was innocent as a lamb and meek as a lamb; and because he came in order to allow himself to be led as a lamb to the slaughter (Is 53:7). This, too, John had witnessed when the Lord permitted himself to be bound at the Mount of Olives and nailed to the cross at Golgotha. There on Golgotha, the true sacrifice of reconciliation was accomplished. Thereby the old sacrifices lost their efficacy; and soon they ceased entirely, as did also the old priesthood when the temple was destroyed. John had witnessed all of this, so he was not surprised at the Lamb on the throne. And because he was a faithful witness to the Lamb, the Bride of the Lamb was also shown to him.

Saint Edith Stein

The Marriage of the Lamb (excerpts)
For the renewal of vows, 14 September 1940

 

John-the-Baptist-bearing-witness_MetMuseum Granacci
Saint John the Baptist Bearing Witness
Workshop of Francesco Granacci (Italian, 1469–1543)
Oil and gold on wood, ca. 1506-1507
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Public Domain)

 

 

Stein, E 2014, The Hidden Life: Essays, Meditations, Spiritual Texts, translated from the German by Stein W, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 18 January

God wishes to let himself be found by those who seek him. Hence he wishes first to be sought. So we can see why natural revelation is not absolutely clear and unambiguous but is rather an incentive to seek. Supernatural revelation answers the questions raised by natural revelation. Faith is already a finding and corresponds to God letting-himself-be-found, not only in the sense that he has something said about himself through his word but that through his word he himself has himself found.

Faith is a gift that must be accepted. In faith divine and human freedom meet. But it is a gift that bids us ask for more. As dark and lacking the evidence of insight [uneinsichtig], faith awakens a yearning for unveiled clarity; as mediated encounter, it awakens a longing for an immediate encounter with God. Indeed the very content of faith awakens desire by promising the beatific vision.

Saint Edith Stein

Knowledge and Faith
Symbolic Theology as Concealing Veil: Seeking God

 

lost in the night Mathias Erhart Flickr 37137144536
Mathias Erhart / Flickr

 

 

Stein, E 2000, Knowledge and Faith, translated from the German by Redmond, W, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 17 January

You must cross out the word discouragement from your dictionary of love.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

Letter 298 to her sister Guite
16 July 1906

 

Dictionary-of-love crossed out
Learn more about DISCOURAGEMENT

 

 

Elizabeth of the Trinity, S 2003, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel, translated from the French by Nash, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC

Quote of the day: 16 January

Several days ago during a discussion with a pious person, I was told the spiritual life was a life of grace that begins with servile fear, that intensifies with the hope of eternal life, and that finds its consummation in pure love; and that there are various ways of ultimately arriving at this blessed consummation. I haven’t followed these methods at all…

During the first years, I ordinarily thought about death, judgment, hell, paradise, and my sins when I prayed. I continued in this fashion for a few years, carefully applying myself the rest of the day—even during my work—to the practice of the presence of God who was always near me, often in the very depths of my heart. This gave me a great reverence for God, and in this matter faith alone was my reassurance. I gradually did the same thing during mental prayer, and this gave me great joy and consolation. This is how I began. I will admit that during the first ten years I suffered a great deal. The apprehension that I did not belong to God as I wished, my past sins always before my eyes, and the lavish graces God gave me, were the sum and substance of all my woes. During this period I fell often, but I got back up just as quickly…

When I accepted the fact that I might spend my life suffering from these troubles and anxieties—which in no way diminished the trust I had in God and served only to increase my faith—I found myself changed all at once. And my soul, until that time always in turmoil, experienced a deep inner peace as if it had found its center and place of rest. Since that time I do my work in simple faith before God, humbly and lovingly, and I carefully apply myself to avoid doing, saying, or thinking anything that might displease him. I hope that having done all that I can, he will do with me as he pleases.

Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection

Letter 2: To a spiritual director (excerpts)

 

Carmelite friar praying the breviary at Lourdes LawrenceOP Flickr 3862034328
A Carmelite friar prays on the banks of the gave de Pau in Lourdes, France | paullew / Flickr

 

 

Lawrence of the Resurrection, B 2015, Writings and Conversations on the Practice of the Presence of God, translated from the French by Sciurba, S, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

 

Quote of the day: 15 January

Now let us speak about the type of soul that enters the second dwelling places and what such a soul does in them. I’d like to say only a little, for I have spoken at length on this subject elsewhere. And it would be impossible to avoid repeating much of it, for I don’t remember a thing of what I said. If I could present the matter for you in a variety of ways I know well that you wouldn’t be annoyed since we never tire of booksas many as there arethat deal with it.

This stage pertains to those who have already begun to practice prayer and have understood how important it is not to stay in the first dwelling places. But they still don’t have the determination to remain in this second stage without turning back, for they don’t avoid the occasion of sin. This failure to avoid these occasions is quite dangerous…

These rooms, in part, involve much more effort then do the first, even though there is not as much danger, for it now seems that souls in them recognize the dangers, and there is great hope they will enter further into the castle. I say that these rooms involve more effort because those who are in the first dwelling places are like deaf-mutes and thus the difficulty of not speaking is more easily endured by them than it is by those who hear but cannot speak. Yet, not for this reason does one have greater desire to be deaf, for after all it is a wonderful thing to hear what is being said to us. So these persons are able to hear the Lord when He calls. Since they are getting closer to where His Majesty dwells, He is a very good neighbor. His mercy and goodness are so bountiful; whereas we are occupied in our pastimes, business affairs, pleasures, and worldly buying and selling, and still falling into sin and rising again. These beasts are so poisonous and their presence so dangerous and noisy that it would be a wonder if we kept from stumbling and falling over them. Yet this Lord desires intensely that we love Him and seek His company, so much so that from time to time He calls us to draw near Him. And His voice is so sweet the poor soul dissolves at not doing immediately what He commands. Thus, as I say, hearing His voice is a greater trial than not hearing it.

Saint Teresa of Jesus

The Interior Castle
The Second Dwelling Place

 

Listening astrid Flickr 11200954926
Astrid Westvang / Flickr

 

 

Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

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