Thursday, August 9, 2012
Feast of St Teresa Benedicta
VEE: Lucky for her when Edith Stein entered Carmel around age 40 (I forget exactly) there were no age limits at the convent. Still now most Carmels dont worry about age for those who are truly called. "Jesus recognizes a Carmelite by her heart" as Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity wrote one time and it is true. St Teresa Benedicta did not die in Carmel nor in her habit. She died in a Nazi gas chamber, habitless, with her sister.
I wonder about her life in the regular world for the roughly ten years of time between when she felt called and finally entered. She worked, and spent some time living with Dominicans because of her job. Surely this was the most difficult and trying part of her life! But ten years between the ages of 30-40 must be difficult. How many of her peers were married and raising families? Men must have been interested in her but having felt the call she wouldve known that none of them were the Jesus she wanted to belong to. Were her friends and family understanding or were there a few who would ask" when are you getting married?" Did they wonder if she had same sex attraction disorder? After years of waiting was it difficult for her to give up her successful job?
St Teresa Benedicta can see too lofty for me at times however what is easier to understand is her love of God and love of others. Carmelites do not live for themselves.