Aug 9 – Memorial for St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), martyr
After witnessing the strength of faith of Catholic friends, Teresa (1891-1942), originally a Jew, became interested in Catholicism and studied a catechism on her own, and she eventually ended up ‘reading herself into’ the Faith.
She became a Carmelite nun, teaching and lecturing at two schools. However, anti-Jewish pressure from the Nazis forced her to resign both positions. She was smuggled out of Germany and assigned to Holland. When the Nazis invaded Holland, she and her sister Rose, also a convert to Catholicism, were captured and sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz where they died in the ovens, like so many others.
- Patron Saint Index
“Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray?…Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”
Whenever I hear the story of the good shepherd, I am ever encouraged. Jesus is the Good Shepherd; He would leave the 99 and go look for the lost one – that would be you and me at different times in our lives.
I find it incredibly encouraging and reassuring that our Lord does not give up on us easily; that it is never in the Father’s will to lose any of His children. And in the Father’s eyes, every one of us, with our faults, we are His children until the end and still worthy to be saved. There is no blemish that He cannot wash away. Every one of us is precious and loved by our Heavenly Father. We are all one in a million; even though we may number in the millions.
There are times in my life, where I have wondered off the path of faith and got distracted by the bells and whistles of this world. In the proverbial saying, I had lost my way. And I did not recognize that fact and still went merrily on down the path towards destruction. When I recognised that I was lost, I became fearful. As a Catholic from birth, how could I commit sins knowingly and willingly? I felt unworthy of our God, wondering how could He ever forgive and love me? These are all lies and deceptions that the evil one planted and whispered to me, trying to tear me away from our Heavenly Father, and separate us forever.
Why would I ever think that God would turn His back to us, when He gave the world His only Son to die for us, to pay the hefty price of our sins? When I contemplate on this fact and the passage above, I feel comforted and ever thankful, that our Lord does not want to leave anyone behind. We are all loved. No matter how undeserving we feel. God thinks we are special, and we are loved. Haven’t His actions and that of His Son proven His love beyond any doubt?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)
Prayer: Dear Lord, grant us the wisdom to know when we are lost and to hear Your voice calling us to return to You, to the safety of Your embrace.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, we thank you for loving us, for counting us worthy and for not giving up on us. Despite all our faults and shortcomings, You still want us to be Your children. Help us, in turn, to love You more and more every day.