Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Jew, then Atheist, then Saint. St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein)

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the life and death of Edith Stein. She was an extremely brilliant young women born to a Jewish family in Poland in 1891. She became an atheist as a teenager, but later felt drawn to the Catholic faith by reading the writings of St. Teresa of Avila.
She went to university and studied philosophy earning her Ph.D. She taught at a university in Munich until being forced out by the Nazis. She later became a Carmelite nun and entered a Carmelite Monastery in the Netherlands.
When the Nazis took possession of the Netherlands, they arrested any Jews who had converted to Catholicism as retaliation for the Dutch Catholic Church denouncing the Nazis. She and her sister, also a convert, were captured and deported to Auschwitz and killed in 1942.
A few days before her deportation, Edith Stein argued against being rescued from her upcoming fate. ‘Do not do it! Why should I be spared? Is it not right that I should gain no advantage from my Baptism? If I cannot share the lot of my brothers and sisters ,my life, in a certain sense, is destroyed.’” John Paul 2 canonized her in 1998 for her heroic life and faith. Her translated writings fill over 15 volumes.

Her relentless pursuit of truth led her to the Church and I thank God that He continues to raise up believers like her, even in this generation. A saint is not someone worshipped, but a model for Christian living to encourage us to press on in spite of our daily adversity. I also can ask St. Teresa Benedicta (her new name given by the Carmelites) to intercede to Jesus for me for friends and family who have an intellectual bent but have not yet discovered the Truth. She knows what the journey is all about so she can pray with real fervor and understanding. She also can pray for us for strength in times of severe testing as she had before she died.

St. Teresa Benedicta, pray for our loved ones who are pursuing truth but as yet don't realize that all Truth leads to Jesus.



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