St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross an inspiration for today

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross is one of my favourite saints because of the many different ways in which she speaks to our culture.

Her intellectual prowess and campaigning for the recognition of women at German universities makes a genuine contribution to the discussion of the role of women in society. Her conversion was an act of great moral courage when faced by the truth. Her continued love for her Jewish heritage while being true to the Catholic faith pre-empted the Church's friendship to the Jews during and after the horrors of the second world war. Her serene acceptance of martyrdom is simply inspiring.

It is also important to remember and to remind others that the Dutch Bishops protested against the treatment of the Jews. This resulted in the round-up of Jewish Catholics, followed swiftly by their being gassed at Auschwitz. This turn of events convinced Pope Pius XII that practical assistance would make more sense than issuing statements - his view of Nazism was no secret to the Party who hated him.

Let us ask for the prayers of St Teresa Benedicta in the moral and social confusion of our own times, and especially for the protection of human life.

(Here is a link to a sermon I preached a few years ago.)

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