The Mystery of Christmas

At the request of one of our listeners, Mark and Frances chose to have a conversation about one of the most important Carmelite Saints in the recent history of the Church, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, or Edith Stein. After a brief biographical sketch, Mark and Frances discuss a very special, but lesser known work of St. Teresa Benedicata of the Cross, a Lecture she offered to a group of Catholic academics entitled, ‘The Mystery of Christmas.’ In this short but profound work, Edith Stein offers a powerful reflection on the mystery of the Incarnation, and what this mystery means for each of us who call ourselves Christians. The centerpiece of this reflection is the importance of relying on God’s Will in all things – this is truly the virtue of Faith lived out in the midst of the often difficult and confusing reality of the human experience. Even though speaking at the time as primarily an academic, Edith Stein none-the-less shows great spiritual wisdom in challenging us to give up our reliance on earthly wisdom and earthly solutions, and instead to abandon ourselves into the arms of our Father, just as the Christ Child did when He willing came as the light of the world to a small stable in Bethlehem.
Pamphlet (Lecture): Mystery of Christmas: Incarnation and Humanity by Edith Stein (aka St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross); Trans. from the German by Sister Josephine rucker, S. S. J.; Printed at Darlington Carmel

Marian Consecration Books:
Preparation for the Total Consecration according to Saint Louis Marie de Montfort; Montfort Publications; By Shore, New York.

In the End My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph: Consecration Preparation for the Triumphant Victory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queenship Publishing Company; Santa Barbara, California.

Consecration to Jesus through Mary: Following the Plan of St. Louis de Montfort, Children of the Father Foundation; Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

33 Days to Morning Glory: a Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration by Michael E. Gaitley, MIC; Marian Press.


The Science of the Cross

In Christian circles we spend a great deal of time talking about the cross, our need to carry the cross, and even Christ Himself tells us that we need to carry our cross daily, implying of course that there is a cross specifically designed for us. So what is this cross, how are we to know what our cross is, and how is it beneficial for us to carry our cross. In this lively conversation about a serious topic, Mark and Frances begin with the statement made by a visiting Carmelite Friar, that we are our own cross. They use a text from St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross titled, “The Science of the Cross,” to explore how our crosses are actually individually designed for us, and they are not only the means of our salvation, but also the means of our purification. Furthermore, if we will allow it, they are the means by which the Lord will allow us to participate in His work of redemption for the whole world. This conversation will also explore how the work of the cross is something far deeper within our spirit than the mere worldly perception of the trials in our life, and as such, it is truly an act of love on the part of our Savior.
Book: The Science of the Cross by Edith Stein, trans. by Josephine Koeppel, OCD; ICS Publications.