Fr O'Neill and Fr Silva away Monday - Wednesday on Priest Convocation. No Daily Masses - Deacon Peter and Deacon Bill will perform Communion Services at 8:00am each day. Please pray for our priests...

Wednesday August 9 - Week 18

Fear and Faith - opposite poles in life.

The first reading from the Book of Numbers shows the Chosen People turning away (again) from the Lord and becoming paralyzed in fear of the people who inhabited the land they were told by the Lord was theirs. Fear is rooted in lack of faith ... the faith that htey needed to uphold their end of the Convenant and trust inthe God's plan.

On the otherhand, we see in the Gospel how faith can liberate one from even the most dibilitating of circumstances. "Please, Lord, even the dogs (Gentiles in this case) eat the scraps that fall from their masters' table." Jesus responded... "Woman, what great faith you have." 

If the Israelites in the first reading had that kind of faith they would have overcome their fear through faith in God's word to them. We too, find ourselves in similar predicaments in life.  We should take our cue from these readings.


St. Edith Stein - Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross - from Saint a Day App (App Store)
Edith Stein was born on October 12, 1891 in a part of Germany that is now Poland. Her father died when she was two, and her mother, a woman of deep Jewish faith, struggled to run the family business and care for her children.

By the time Edith was a teenager, she fell away from the practice of Judaism and considered herself an atheist. In 1911, she began studying psychology at the University of Breslau, then transferred to another school where she could enroll in the classes of Edmund Husserl, a well-known philosopher. When World War I broke out, she put her education on hold and volunteered as a nurse. She finally earned her doctorate degree in 1916, and accepted a position as Husserl’s assistant.

After reading the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila, Edith felt a strong pull toward the Catholic faith. She asked to be baptized, and on January 1, 1922, she became a Catholic. Her family and friends found it difficult to understand this decision. As the Nazi party was growing stronger, they felt that Edith was turning her back on her Jewish religion at a time when Jews needed to encourage and support each other more than ever.

Edith became a leader in the Catholic Women’s Movement. She taught in a school that was run by the Dominicans and translated some of St. Thomas Aquinas’ writings.

In 1934, she became a Discalced Carmelite in Cologne. Her new name as a nun was Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She continued to write, but most of her work could not be published at the time because she was a woman and because of her Jewish roots. As the Nazi party became stronger and more threatening, she was forced to escape to a Carmelite monastery in Holland.

When Germany invaded Holland, many Catholics of Jewish heritage were arrested and deported to the concentration camps of Auschwitz. Edith was among them. She died in Auschwitz in the gas chambers on August 9, 1942. Pope John Paul II canonized her on October 11, 1998.

As a philosopher, St. Edith Stein was devoted to seeking the truth. Her faith in Christ gave her the courage to die for the Jewish people whose heritage she shared. Our faith should make us just as courageous when we see people suffering discrimination for their beliefs.

Quotes from Edith Stein published in Laudate

Whatever did not fit in with my plan did lie within the plan of God. I have an ever deeper and firmer belief that nothing is merely an accident when seen in the light of God, that my whole life down to the smallest details has been marked out for me in the plan of Divine Providence and has a completely coherent meaning in God's all-seeing eyes. And so I am beginning to rejoice in the light of glory wherein this meaning will be unveiled to me. - Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

God is there in these moments of rest and can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. Then the rest of the day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace. And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the rasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God's hands and leave it with Him. Then you will be able to rest in Him - really rest - and start the next day as a new life. - Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Learn from Saint Thérèse to depend on God alone and serve Him with a wholly pure and detached heart. Then, like her, you will be able to say 'I do not regret that I have given myself up to Love'. - Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

O my God, fill my soul with holy joy, courage and strength to serve You. Enkindle Your love in me and then walk with me along the next stretch of road before me. I do not see very far ahead, but when I have arrived where the horizon now closes down, a new prospect will prospect will open before me, and I shall meet it with peace. - Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross



Fr O'Neill's Daily Mass Reflections

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