Friday, August 09, 2013

Edith on the Way of Perfection

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Picture source, click here for more photos

I wanted to share with you the following notes from the translator of Edith Stein's autobiography.

Edith Stein, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, has a singularly interesting qualification for joining the four best known Discalced Carmelites:  Teresa of Jesus, John of the Cross, Therese of the Child Jesus, and Elizabeth of the Trinity.  Each of the five, as a child, lost one parent; in each of the five families, the surviving parent was both loving and influential.

Teresa de Ahumada was thirteen-years old and Therese Martin was four when they lost the loving care of a mother; for both of them, the experience of a father's solicitous care, and a surrogate mothering by an older sister offset the suffering that usually attends a mother's early death.

Juan de Yepes was an infant when his father died; Captain Catez, father of Elizabeth, died when she was about seven; Edith, a toddler not quite two years old, called her father back for an affectionate farewell embrace the day he succumbed to a heat stroke.

...did their childhood experience make these five more attentive to a call from God?...Was there a quality to the relationship with the living parent that predisposed these women, and the young man, for Carmel?
Interesting questions.

Source:  Edith Stein: Life in a Jewish Family 1891-1916, An Autobiography, Translation by Josephine Koeppel, O.C.D.