27 November 2015

Juxta Crucem Tecum Stare

Today I stood with you beneath the cross,
And felt more clearly than I ever did
That you became our Mother only there.
Even an earthly mother faithfully
Seeks to fulfill the last will of her son.
But you became the handmaid of the Lord.
The life and being of the God made Man
Was perfectly inscribed in your own life.
So you could take your own into your heart,
And with the lifeblood of your bitter pains
You purchased life anew for every soul.
You know us all, our wounds, our imperfections;
But you also know the celestial radiance
Which your Son's love would shed on us in heaven.
Thus carefully you guide our faltering footsteps,
No price too high for you to lead us to our goal.
But those whom you have chosen for companions
To stand with you around the eternal throne,
They here must stand with you beneath the cross,
And with the lifeblood of their own bitter pains
Must purchase heavenly glory for those souls
Whom God's own Son entrusted to their care.

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, written on Good Friday in 1938


  1. Brittany, do you have recommendations for where to begin with her writings?

  2. Hey Ross! I'm just finishing with Edith Stein's Essential Writings, but honestly it isn't a great holistic picture of her works. It certainly has some real highlights though, it's filled with excerpts of letters she wrote from Carmel or from university when she was in school. It's not in chronological order which is annoying to me.

    She's very intellectual, which I think you'll like a lot. I think the reason St. JPII looked to her in understanding a lot about love and responsibility/TOB was because of her Essays on Woman. CeeCee and I read some of them together at Auburn. They're great.

    Perhaps an even better place to start would be with her (unfinished) autobiography, Life in a Jewish Family. I haven't read it but I would like to.

    Also, she's a carmelite through and through and LOVES St. Teresa of Avila, so reading Interior Castle or The Way of Perfection can help you understand TBoCs spirituality. I tried to read St. Teresa of Avila a while ago and it was hard for me to see where she was coming from because a lot of times she's writing to the nuns in Carmel so it was hard for me to find practical applications for my state in life. I was also younger and less mature so that may have had something to do with it.

    (P.S., I'm still working out my post on fake it till you make it, thanks for posting yours!)