Edith Stein Essays

Brought up on the Psalms and Proverbs, Stein considered her mother a living example of the strong woman of Proverbs 31, who rises early to care for her family and trade in the marketplace.

By her teenage years, Stein no longer practiced her Jewish faith and considered herself an atheist, but she continued to admire her mothers attitude of total openness toward God.

But what this carrying of the cross was to consist in, that I did not yet know.

On October 15, just after her forty-second birthday, Edith Stein entered the Carmel of Cologne, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

We are pleased to offer you this lecture series on Carmelite Spirituality cosponsored by the Institute of Carmelite Studies, The Church in the 21st Century Center, and the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. John Sullivan is a Carmelite Friar and past Provincial for the Washington Province.

This lecture reviews the life and writings of Edith Stein, German philosopher, Jewish convert to Catholicism, and Carmelite nun, who was martyred in Auschwitz in 1942. Sullivan highlights the timeliness of her work for today and discusses approaches to her significant literary output.

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We use cookies to offer you a better experience, personalize content, tailor advertising, provide social media features, and better understand the use of our services.She picked up, seemingly by chance, the autobiography of St. She read it in one sitting, decided that the Catholic faith was true, and went out the next day to buy a missal and a copy of the Catholic catechism.She was baptized the following January, but her desire immediately to enter the Carmelites was delayed for a time.Her advisers saw that her conversion and claustration would be a double blow to her mother, and they knew the Church could benefit enormously from her contributions as a speaker and writer.Stein eventually became a leading voice in the Catholic Womans Movement in Germany, speaking at conferences and helping to formulate the principles behind the movement.Since this would mean that her mother, now eighty-four, would never see her again, Stein felt that the time had come to fulfill her long-standing desire to enter religious life.While on a trip during Holy Week of 1933, Edith stopped in Cologne at the Carmelite convent during the service for Holy Thursday.She hoped that a special encyclical might help counteract the mounting tide of anti-Semitism.Unfortunately, due to bureaucratic confusion, her request was not granted. Steins colleagues at the Educational Institute in Munster realized that they could protect her no longer, and so offered her a teaching position in South America.A Carmel among the Nazis Steins family saw her entry into the convent as a betrayal, and as coming at the worst possible time, just when Jewish persecution was intensifying.Christianity was the religion of their oppressors; they couldnt understand what it meant to her.


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