Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jewish Flesh and Jewish Blood

Sixty-nine years ago today, Dr. Edith Stein -- in religion Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross -- and approximately one thousand other Hebrew Catholics were put to death in the gas chambers of Auschwitz (in Polish, Oswiecim).

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross is of the lineage of Miriam, of Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, Judith and Esther, of the same people as the Blessed Virgin, Miriam of Nazareth, of whom was born Yeshouah who is called the Christ. The words of Our Lord in today’s gospel strike us with a particular resonance. “Salvation is from the Jews” (Jn 4:22) . . . Saint Paul reminds us that, “the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable” (Rom 11:29). God’s choice of Israel remains; His love for Israel stands firm forever. How could God not cherish with a love of predilection the race that gave His only begotten Son flesh and blood? Gentile Christians are the wild olive shoot, grafted in place to share the richness of the olive tree. Lest we be tempted to boast, Saint Paul says: “Remember, it is not you that supports the root, but the root that supports you” (Rom 11:18). . . . How can we who were born in the century of the Holocaust, not be moved by this daughter of the Synagogue and of the Church? As we celebrate her martyrdom today, we are mindful that the Sacred Body and Precious Blood of Jesus offered and received in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are Jewish flesh and Jewish blood. --Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, O.S.B.)

St. Edith Stein, virgin and martyr, pray for us!


JMB said...

I really enjoyed her autobiography, Life in a Jewish Family (?) I read it a few years ago. I was struck by how quickly her life changed and how she went from being a comfortable member of the German upper middle class to a persona non grata. It was scary. She is an inspiration and role model for me. A true saint for modern times.

Melanie Bettinelli said...

Thank you for these quotes. I just love Edith Stein. She is one of my favorite saints. Perhaps because she's kind of my first best friend. Before I met her I don't think I really understood what it meant to know and love a saint, what it meant to have a devotion to a saint. Going to her canonization in Rome when I hardly knew who she was opened up this world for me. First I fell in love with her and then with so many other saints. As an intellectual woman, a one-time aspiring academic, she first spoke to me as a role model. But she is of course so much more than a brilliant philosopher and writer. I love the phrase from today's collect which notes that she came to the fullness of the science of the cross at her martyrdom. She reminds me that faith is more than an intellectual exercise, that it must always lead me to the cross or it is empty dust.

Pentimento said...

How wonderful that you were at her canonization, Melanie!

I'm wearing a holy medal of her right now, as always.

Melanie Bettinelli said...

I don't wear much jewelry. Usually only my wedding and engagement rings and a miraculous medal. But I have an Edith Stein keychain that I got in Rome. It has my favorite quote on it: "Wer die Warheit sucht, der sucht Gott." Loosly translated: He who seeks truth seeks God.

Pentimento said...

That is beautiful.