Saint Edith Stein on the Meaning of Suffering

Author: św. Edyta Stein


“There is a call to suffering with Christ and, through this, to cooperate in His salvific work. In uniting ourselves with the Lord, we become members of his Mystical Body. Through his members Christ extends His own life and it is He who suffers in them. When we are in union with the Lord, our suffering becomes His suffering. It becomes an integral part of the great work of salvation and is therefore fruitful. This is the basic idea of religious life, of Carmelite life above all: a freely willed assumption of suffering on behalf of sinners and cooperation in the redemption of mankind (Works, vol. 2, p. 163).

“Every person must suffer and die; but if he is a living member of the Mystical Body of Christ, his suffering and death take on a redemptive power, which flows from the divinity of Him, Who is his Head. That is why every saint so desires to embrace suffering” (In My Own Words, pp. 68-69).

“As the Lamb had to be slain in order to be raised to the throne of glory, so do suffering and the Cross bring to glory all those who are invited and chosen to espouse the Lamb. Whoever wishes to be wedded to the Lamb must allow himself to be nailed to the Cross with Him. All of us who are marked by the blood of the Lamb, that is, all we who have been baptized, are called to this; but we do not all understand His call. To follow Christ means to follow Him with ever increasing faith. This call resounds within the soul and demands an unequivocal answer” (Ibid, pp.156-157).


Saint Teresa Benedict of the Cross



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