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Sunday, 12 July 2015

Framing Prayer 14 Carmelites and The Cross

Continuing with the same meditation of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, one reads:

"....there is also a danger that any natural affection may degenerate into passion with all of its devastating consequences. God has provided two remedies for this : marriage and virginity. Virginity is the more radical and precisely therefore the easier...Marriage is already a great mystery as the symbol of the bond between Christ and the Church and at the same time as its instrument. But virginity is still the deeper mystery. It is not only the symbol and instrument of bridal union with Christ and of the union's supernatural fruitfulness, but also participates in the union. It originates in the depths of the divine life and leads back to it again. The eternal Father in unconditional love has given his entire being to his Son. ..."

These thoughts are why one priest I know encourages young men to either choose celibacy as a brother, or get married, as there are graces in the decision of a lifestyle if one does not feel called to be a priest.

One's prayer flows out of one's vocation. God the Son came into the world into order to bring us all up to His Father. The saint writes, "This is the divine fertility of his (Jesus) eternal virginity: that he can give souls supernatural life."

"Divine virginity has a characteristic aversion to sin as the contrary of divine holiness."

And, yet, sinners find love from the true celibate, as they share in Christ's love. "Christ has come to tear sinners away from sin and to restore the divine image in defiled souls. He comes as a child of sin--his genealogy and the entire history  of the Old Covenant show this--and he seeks the company of sinners as as to take all the sins of the world upon himself and carry them away to the infamous wood of the cross, which thereby precisely becomes the sign of his victory."

St. Teresa Benedicta writes that the virginal soul has no fear of sin. Mary at the foot of the Cross, the most perfect of humans and most pure, "becomes the Mother of Grace."

For the laity, choice of vocation determines prayer, but the Carmelite embracing of the Cross may be a very useful focus in these times for many lay people.

This end the view taken from the works of Edith Stein. Tomorrow I move back to Elizabeth of the Trinity, looked at briefly early this year.