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Day 8: The Cross of Christ , A Model for Today

Day 8: The Cross of Christ , A Model for Today

The Cross of Christ

By choosing the Cross of Christ as the mystery in her religious name, Edith Stein makes a bold statement: she is a friend of the Cross of Christ. 

We often see the Cross as an instrument of torture and suffering, which may prompt the image of a mortiferous faith. But for Edith, despite the tragic context of her lifetime (experiencing WWI and WWII), the Cross bears an entirely different message: in it, she discovers the greatness of Love, which goes beyond the gift of one's self, to eventually overcome death and sin. She "sees" the power and the light that the Cross of Christ communicates to the faithful during her encounter with the window of Adolph Reinach, soon after the killing of her spouse at war. Since then, Edith is marked by a fundamentally positive vision of the Cross. 

"The Cross is where our salvation lies, our life,where is concluded the spiritual marriage, because it is built on the total, free, mutual gift of self." 

For Edith, the Cross does not merely represent the suffering of Christ, but rather the seed of Resurrection. It is the Paschal Mystery. And she was to live to the full the mystery of the Cross.  

A model for Today

John Paul II, Apostolic letter Spes Aedificandi, 10/1/1999

Today we look upon Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and, in her witness as an innocent victim, we recognize an imitation of the Sacrificial lamb and a protest against every violation of the fundamental rights of the person. We also recognize in it the pledge of a renewed encounter between Jews and Christians which, following the desire expressed by the Second Vatican Council, is now entering upon a time of promise, marked by openness on both sides. Todays' proclamation of Edith Stein as a Co-Patroness of Europe is intended to raise on this Continent a banner of respect, tolerance and acceptance which invites all men and women to understand and appreciate each other, transcending their ethnic, cultural and religious differences in order to form a truly fraternal society.

Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6