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March 23, 2024

Edith Stein: Love and Sacrifice

March 23, 2024
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A Desire for Wisdom

Edith Stein’s life is defined by her hunger to know the Truth. She sought it as a child in her family through traditions. As a brilliant young academic, she scoured the heights and depths of wisdom looking for it. Eventually, she found it, though not in either place - she found it in the cloister, and in giving herself totally for others. Finally meeting the Truth, She would learn that Truth doesn't just have a nature - it has a Face. 

Searching and Finding

Growing up in a practicing Jewish family, the young Edith Stein distinguished herself with her intelligence and earnestness. Yet she could not bring herself to be dishonest and proclaimed herself agnostic at a young age. She sought the fullness of Truth and human experience as a student, studying phenomenology under Edmund Husserl at the University of Gottingen. It was through Husserl’s teaching and the friends and colleagues she made through his circle that Edith would first begin to discover the Truth. 

While staying with friends, Edith stumbled upon a book: the life of St. Theresa of Avila. She stayed up all night reading, enthralled by the beauty of her life and the Carmelite spirituality. This was one of several experiences by which God drew Edith Stein toward Himself. Soon, she was baptized and entered the Church. 

These were dangerous times in Germany. Anti-Semitism grew, and though now Catholic, Edith was still in danger. While a prominent philosopher and writer, Edith still lost her teaching position. She took this as an opportunity to enter Carmel, which had been her desire since she entered the Church. There, she took the name Sister Theresa Benedicta of the Cross. 

As Nazi power increased and war returned, Sister Theresa’s very life was now endangered. She was transferred to a convent in the Netherlands for her safety. After the Netherlands was invaded, Edith knew that it was only a matter of time until they came for her. 

Love, Sacrifice, and Truth

Having found the Truth, Edith would never leave Him. In the face of fear, suffering, and even death, Edith remained courageous, leaving an eternal witness of faith, courage, and love. 

This week, The Saints: Adventures of Faith and Courage presents the story of this heroic martyr. Through her death, she offered her suffering as an atonement for true peace in this world. Hear each moment of her journey, from the first days of her life and the stirrings of her soul in the search for Truth to her heroic sacrifice at the end of her life. Saint Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, Pray for Us!

You can listen to Edith Stein Monday, March 25, at

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