The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


On Edith Stein, “Martyr for love”

posted by jmcgee

“St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross was able to understand that the love of Christ and human freedom are intertwined, because love and truth have an intrinsic relationship. The quest for truth and its expression in love did not seem at odds to her; on the contrary she realized that they call for one another.

In our time, truth is often mistaken for the opinion of the majority. In addition, there is a widespread belief that one should use the truth even against love or vice versa. But truth and love need each other. St Teresa Benedicta is a witness to this. The “martyr for love”, who gave her life for her friends, let no one surpass her in love. At the same time, with her whole being she sought the truth, of which she wrote: “No spiritual work comes into the world without great suffering. It always challenges the whole person”.

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross says to us all: Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie. ”

– Pope John Paul II,
Homily for Canonization of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

October 11, 1998



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Panthera

posted August 9, 2010 at 10:06 am


Deacon Kandra wrote:
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross says to us all: Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie. ”
endquote
I do believe this Saint has managed to bridge belief and the natural sciences in three sentences.
Perfect.
Of course, ‘love’ as she means the word is far, far removed from ‘love’ as the weapon of choice in our Christian world, today. It is a weakness of the Germanic languages that we only have one term for so very many concepts – this has both debased and left open to individual interpretation what in the Biblical tongues was very clear.



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Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

posted August 9, 2010 at 10:24 am


This is beautiful – thank you.



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RomCath

posted August 9, 2010 at 11:08 am


“In our time, truth is often mistaken for the opinion of the majority.”
Yes indeed. How often the “opinions” of man run contrary to the Word of God and the teaching of the Church. JPII’s words say it all.



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Klaire

posted August 9, 2010 at 11:55 am


Indeed this is beautiful! JPII also taught that religious freedom and democracy are intertwined (e.g. Poland). It’s also the message that Newt and Callista Gringrich are trying to get out to Americans in their JPII video. People can say what they want about Newt, and I admit, 5 years ago the thought of him made me quiver, but I almost wonder, like Churchill, if he Newt isn’t “right for the times” in leading America back to the ideals of the founding fathers.
Obama fully admits that it will be the “goverment” who will “save” us, and no question, that is where he is taking the country as we witness more and more removal of God from the public square. Both he and Hillary are already doing what the left does best, changing semantics, the latest being “Freedom of WORSHIP.”
Pantherea you make an excellent point that the English language, unlike the Greek language which has several, has no meaningful world for (agape) love. When we say, “I love my ipod, it’s a far cry from, I love God.”
That said, maybe you can understand that when many of us on this blog question what you believe to be your Christian understanding of homosexually, we are responding in “agape” love, which actually, often makes authentic charity (love) ‘appear’ to be hurtful. In agape, love one wants ONLY what one wishes for him or helfself, the greatest endpoint of love, dispite how unpopular it makes us. And that endpoint my friend is nothing less than heaven/eternal salvation. That’s what real people who love each other in Christian love want for each other; always!
So yes, sometimes love, the real (agape) kind, even when every effort is made to be charitable, simply doesn’t “look” like love, when in fact, it’s nothing but love, simply becasue it’s truth, of which St. Benedicta reminds us, can never coexhist outside of love.



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RomCath

posted August 9, 2010 at 1:07 pm


Sincere contrition and a purpose of amendment grants forgiveness of sins. If we can’t be forgiven of our sins then we are all in a sorry state. Before we judge others, let us be reminded of Jesus’ words on that subject. He also did not condemn, but told the woman caught in adultery to sin no more.
Quite different from one who continues to live what is an objectively sinful life, seeks no forgiveness and has no intention to change what they are doing.



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Klaire

posted August 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm


Panthera I don’t want to make homosexual personal towards you, but will just say in general (and I know you have your own interpretation, of which you have free will and are so entitled, but please, let’s not take this into a scriptual debate, as it’s pointless and often can become inappropiate for a Catholic blog), that based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, homosexual, and all sex outside of a sacramental or marriage between opposite sexes for that matter, separates us from God, which is another way of defining sin.
It’s BECAUSE I’m a Christian, and believe that to the core of my being (in addition to the CC teaching it), that I am willing to take time out of my busy day to remind you of it. What you do with that information is up to you, as I don’t say it to judge your heart or impose it, only to be a messenger of Truth as Jesus taught it.
As for Newt, he had a validly annuled marriage, and in point of fact, is now the epitome of God’s mercy and grace. He’s now a devout Catholic, in full union with the CC. Like all of us, I’m sure Newt had and continues to have his sins, but here’s the good news Panthera. It only matters how we end up, not how we were once were. Nothing is more edifying to the power of Christ, grace, and mercy than to see a once public figure who by most was disgusting, turn his or her life around. That’s hope, that’s grace, that’s the power of Christ and his endless mercy!
As for anyone else who acts non Christian, first, be careful that you understand the church’s true teaching before your rush to judgement on others’ actions. You continue to quote poor Galileo when if fact, you couldn’t be more wrong about him, of which I have sent you references in the past. For the record, when the Galileo, crusades, and indulgence cards are played, it’s usually a sure sign that there is an anti-catholic bias involved, or at least, a very misinformed attacker.
Even when Christian’s act as non Christian, it’s our job to pray for them, not leave the faith because of them. It’s a fallen world Panthera, and we are all in it together. Best if we all just keep our eye on Jesus and His teachings, as nothing is a better example of living the gospels to those around us.
I would love to tell you that “God will understand your situation.” Of course, I don’t know what it is in your heart, only what Jesus taught. Subsequenly, I will tell you the same thing I tell my heterosexual neices and nephews, and gay friends and relatives: we are all called to holiness and celibacy outside of marriage (marriage between a man and a women). That doesn’t mean I’m saying that it’s easy, just that’s it’s holy. Just ask anyone who is single and living a celibate life. They will be the first to tell you, they get far more than they “gave up.” Grace and the Holy Spirit are amazing, mind blowing gifts, open to all in obedience to the word, as in that word is not only love, but also truth.
Truth in love; as good as it gets outside of heaven! Our culture often confuses freedom with license. True freedom allows us to be our best, which is of course, in the image of God.
.



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GMBurns

posted August 9, 2010 at 1:49 pm


Thank you so much for this beautiful find. I think it is true in the most rigorously scientific sense. God created the universe and us to live in it from the only thing that existed before it, himself; he made us with free will so that we can love him, and each other, of our own free will. God is love, and made Creation from himself. That will someday be understood to be true by science, but it is already revealed by love.



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Panthera

posted August 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm


Klaire,
I appreciate your charitable spirit. Truly, I do.
There is quite a debate ongoing within the Catholic church on this subject, the matter is not as closed and finished as many American Catholics think.
That is, however, irrelevant. The question here is:
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. (Jer. 13:23).
I am not Catholic, thus I am not required to find the annulment of a marriage after one has served one’s wife, who is on her death bed of cancer, with divorce papers as just making things peachy-keen and fine and dandy.
Frankly, annulments and dispensations are a purely Catholic institution and have no basis of any sort, whatsoever in Christianity. It is impossible to justify them through the Bible.
His first marriage exists still, he is an adulterer, a fornicator, a cheat.
Let us pretend, for the nonce, that annulment actually is real. OK, so this man who committed adultery not once, but twice (to which he admits) has a character suitable to be our leader? What criteria do you apply?
Although it is not my first or second language, I speak English with the accent of the Deep South. Hick, in other words. Would it suffice, were I one day to wake up and say the last 27 years were just a youthful indiscretion, I have repented, availed myself of my Catholic infant Baptism and returned to the Church, et cetra, for you to think I’m wonderful? Is that all it takes?
Goodness, Hitler was a vegetarian and very good to his dogs.



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Klaire

posted August 9, 2010 at 2:05 pm


I already think you are wonderful Panthera; you’re made in God’s Image!
I’m not debating your “wonderfulness”, nor do I intend to debate Newt’s or anyone else’s “not so wonderfulness” at least to the thinking of many.
I also never debate Scripture, especially with non Catholics, as it’s pointless. Catholicism is not a religon soley “bible based”, (look up Dei Verbum), and you will come to understand that all Catholic teaching is based on not ONLY scripture, but also Tradition, and the Catechism (teaching of the Magesterium). We take all of Scripture, new and old, as a whole, never pieced mealed, and always in compatiblity with the Catechism ,Sacred Tradition, and the Magesterium. That said, it’s all based on Divine Revelation, with ended with the death of the last apostle, John. There is simply no more to be revealed.
As for repentence, we are all, a “confession away”, even Hitler. The one and only grace we can all get in sin is the grace for redemption. I know it well; been there many times!



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Panthera

posted August 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm


Ah, Klaire, you draw my last fang. I truly wish we did not have this one disagreement, else we were as one.
I understand your position – you will support anyone whom you believe will further the aims of the Catholic church. Frankly, I don’t think
Gingerich has changed an iota (remember, please just exactly where in the US I live when I’m in the US) and I suspect he will prove to be just as every single other politician who has promised you the moon has been: A swindler, liar and cheat.
That said, I think you’re pretty wonderful, too.
Deacon Kandra, reCaptcha has gone off the deep end. I’m having to click through 20 or more suggestions today before I find one with characters on my keyboard.
[Pan ... I wish I had a better solution to the whole captcha thing, but that's for someone above my pay grade. Dcn. G.]



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RomCath

posted August 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm


“thus I am not required to find the annulment of a marriage after one has served one’s wife, who is on her death bed of cancer, with divorce papers as just making things peachy-keen and fine and dandy.”
–If she has since died then he would be free to marry without an annulment.
Frankly, annulments and dispensations are a purely Catholic institution and have no basis of any sort, whatsoever in Christianity. It is impossible to justify them through the Bible.
–That’s total baloney. It is impossible to justify same sex marriage through the Bible!
Strange how the left focuses on the “sins” of the right and forget Bill and Monica. They are still fawning over him. The current occupant of the WH has had some shady associates and no one questions him at all. “remove the plank from your own eye………..



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Klaire

posted August 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm


Just to wrap this up Panthera, know that any disagreement is between you and God. I’m only defending chuch teaching, which in Catholicsim, is based on the revelation of Jesus Christ. Let’s just agree to disagree that THAT is where our disagreement rests.
Also, it’s incorrect to assume I want a “Catholic” running the political theater. For heaven’s sake, we already HAVE that, and it’s a disaster. I want the likes of Ronald Reagan, someone who, like the spirit of St. Theresa Bendictine, had a deep love for Christ and his teachings, a deep love for democracy (Reagan HATED communism to his core, and one who had enough humility to trust in God’s wisdom and the power of pray in making decisions for the good of the American People. Reagan was not a Catholic BTW. Most certainly I don’t want a theocracy, just a person who truly loves God and country, including a religious Jew.
I’m not even saying that Newt is the guy, only that, like our founding fathers, he “gets” the importance of religous freedom as a precursor to all good things in America. As is already evident the more we “go secular”, we are eating each other alive, headed for “self destruction” if we don’t as a country return to God and show gratitude for our many blessings.
Lastly, I would ask you to remember this. Peter, who, became the first pope, betrayed Christ (in person). I would put that at the top of the list over any all of our politicians combined, 10 billion-fold. The amazing thing is that it was Peter to whom Jesus handed the “keys”, not John, the close to perfect and beloved apostle. In point of fact, the only real difference between Peter and Judas is that Peter repented, deeply.
So, if Jesus can hand the keys to Peter, I would have no problem handing the keys to ANY repentent politician who was God centered regardless of his or her past. If Jesus was trying to teach us anything about Peter the first Pope, it certainly wasn’t that the Catholic Church is the musesum for saints, but the “hospital for sinners”, which give us all hope of becoming one, right up to our very last breath.
As Mother Angela would say, “Come on in, we’re a mess!”



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Panthera

posted August 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm


Well written, Klaire.
Obviously, as someone whose civil rights are stricken the moment I touch ground here and miraculously restored the moment our airplane is 320K off the coast, I do have different priorities than many here do. It is worth noting, and I am overjoyed you ‘get it’, that if they can take away my rights, yours can be gone in an instant. Indeed, having direct ancestors who were parties to The Treaty of Augsburg, I know that much of the fierceness with which American Catholics insist they are being persecuted is institutional memory.
RomCath, what on earth are you going on about?
RomCath said: –If she has since died then he would be free to marry without an annulment.
endquote
Which ex-wife, RomCath? Do you know? Obviously, not.
Jackie Battley or Callista Bisek? It signifies that you neither know nor care. I shan’t give you the answer, look it up.
RomCath said in response to my comment that annulments and dispensations are non-Biblical:
–That’s total baloney. It is impossible to justify same sex marriage through the Bible!
endquote
False witness, non sequitur and red herring in two sentences. Not bad. Throw in a squirrel cage argument and you’d have qualified yourself to be a protestant TV-evangelist of the big hair days.
RomCath said: Strange how the left focuses on the “sins” of the right and forget Bill and Monica. They are still fawning over him. The current occupant of the WH has had some shady associates and no one questions him at all. “remove the plank from your own eye………..
endquote
RomCath the irony, the total irony of using this example to defend Newt Gingerich’ behavior obviously escapes you.
Helpful hint: Tent the aluminium foil over the turkey and baste until done….whoops, sorry, wrong turkey. Look, RomCath, I am beginning to think you really may be a very young man. Whatever you are, you must be making every single literate Catholic on this blog cringe. Guess who was committing adultery during the Clinton impeachment while leading the Republican attack? I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t Hillary.



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RomCath

posted August 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm


I doubt if I make every Catholic cringe as you make every Christian other than the make it up as you go crowd.
You didn’t give me the quote from the Bible justifying your hmm “marriage”. Did you? The victimhood about your so-called rights is as tiresome as your alleged intellect and conservative Christian loathing. You have no special rights because of your orientation. You want to redefine marriage, go ahead. Don’t expect orthodox Christians, Jews or Muslims to do so as well. I am far from young but probably not as old as your anti-Catholic blather.
You have a fixation on adultery. Too bad you aren’t as keen on the reality of forgiveness and redemption. Maybe your “Catholic” friend could teach you.



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Panthera

posted August 9, 2010 at 5:33 pm


My goodness, RomCath, your intemperance may not, then, be excused by the excess of youth.
Very well, I take note.
There is another flaw in your logic. By attempting to insult me through referring to my husband as mere ‘friend’ you gave weight to our relationship. Thank you.
Deacon Kandra, I am going to leave this discussion at this point. I don’t want you to shut it down on my account and I fear there is nothing to be gained from continuing this exchange with RomCath.
Except, perhaps, to note that he has well proved the Saints observation.



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RomCath

posted August 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm


“Flaws in my logic” –now that is really rich. Your understanding of Catholicism is as flawed as it can possibly get, yet that doesn’t stop your pontificating about it. You expect people to just sit back and give you a platform to tell us where we are wrong and to attack Catholicism on a Catholic blog. The time you and other Catholic bashers spend here speaks volumes about your agenda and your life.
You still did not quote the justification for same sex marriage from Scripture. Maybe because it isn’t there, but Jesus did quote Genesis about marriage.



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Klaire

posted August 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm


Panthera, I appreciate your kind words towards me but do have to correct you on your misundering (remember this thread is all about “truth and love–the real kind”).
Here’s the thing…
I don’t for a minute agree with you that by not allowing same sex ‘marriage’, any civil rights are violated. I do believe any two people, of any color, race, sexual orientation, age, etc., are entitled to legal rights by mutual agreement in any applicable binding contract (just not “marriage”).
Let’s just take the recent overturn in CA. Prop 8 had nothing whatsoever to do with banning gay marriage (civil unions have been legal for some time, homosexuals have many legal rights in CA, independent of prop 8). All prop 8 did, was “DEFINE” that marriage is between a man and a woman, for the most part, keeping government out of same sex marriages. Before, after and during prop 8, any gay couple can be “united” in CA, it’s just not considered “marriage” under the State Law (well, I guess it is now, until appeal). Prop 8 was just saying that “Marriage”, under CA law, is defined as union of man and women.
The funny thing is, it’s not about civil rights, never has been. Proof of that is that “it’s never enough.” First it was civil unions, then it was mandatory benefit inclusion for the same employee rights (even Catholic companies have to comply), now it has to be “marriage” exactly. If tomorrow, the state just called it by a different name, it would be a no go. There’s a distinct agenda to destroy traditional marriage and family. Just ask any parent who has a kid in the CA public school system how “normalized” gayness has become.
The truth is, gay sex is highly disordered, sinful, unnatural, and highly distructive to the basic unit of society, the family. For thousands of years, it has always been between a man and a women, in all cultures. While I and many have total respect for anyone as a person of any sexual orientation, I will fight to my dying day to keep the institution of marriage between a man and a women, not in only honoring God, but for the survival and good of society.
Again, we are all called to holiness; single, celibate, gay, staight, and married. Without question, many carry heavy crosses. That said, redefining the age old and sacred institution of marriage to include homosexuality, is greatly disordered, and has nothing to do with “civil rights.” Last time I checked Panthera, there is almost zero oppostion to denying any person of any sexual orientation of any of his/her civil rights.



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romancrusader

posted August 9, 2010 at 9:03 pm


Newt is a lie, a cheat and an adulterer? This is bad comedy Panthera, your posts are not rational. BUT I THINK YOU KNOW THAT!
P.S. Jesus disagrees with your argument against annulments.
Please read Matthew 5:32 “But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.”
DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT ADULTERY IS? DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT AN ANNULMENT IS? I doubt you do. Next time, do your research.



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Aquamarine

posted August 10, 2010 at 7:10 pm


Actually, for thousands of years, in several cultures, marriage has been between a man and as many women as he can afford.
Intimacy between two adults living in a committed relationship is not destructive to society or heterosexual marriages or families.
Promiscuity is destructive to society, to the individuals involved and, if they have them, to those individuals’ families.
Sexual aggression, regardless of the sex of the perps and victims, is destructive to society and to the individuals involved and perhaps their families as well.
Sexual objectification of individuals regardless of sex is destructive to society and to the people involved.
But an intimate relationship between two adults of the same sex who are living in a committed relationship? That has nothing but a positive effect on society and the people involved.
Having said that, the state doesn’t belong in the marriage business. The state ought to provide civil unions to any two adults seeking them — I’d even say more than two, as long as the law can catch up to the intricacies of those kinds of relationships.
Let the state provide civil unions, let churches do as they will.
If the Catholic Church refuses to marry two members of the same sex, that’s fine. That’s their business. If the Episcopal Church chooses to marry members of the same sex, great!
Sooner or later, the gay marriage rights issue will hit the Supreme Court and those who maintain marriage as between one man and one woman are going to have to support their postion. The only sources for their claim come from a handful of religions and some social traditions. Neither is basis for a constitutional right.
We’d save the tax payer a heck of a lot of money if we just cut to the chase, provided civil unions for all, and handed marriage back to the religious institutions.
Scare tactics and laughable assertions about gay marriage destroying society and families just don’t work. A mentally deficient cocker spaniel can figure out that the sexual behaviors that harm society, families and individuals are not exclusive to one orientation.



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