Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

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. "
- St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Last year, during World Youth Day in Cologne, I visited the Carmelite convent St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) entered. I was in the neighbourhood waiting to meet up with some seminarian friends from Germany who were at the gathering of seminarians with the Holy Father at Sankt Pantaleon Church. We obviously couldn't get into the area where the seminarians would have their special meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and so our plan had been just to sit around and wait for them. I was sitting in a park adjacent to Sankt Pantaleon Church when I began talking with a small group of Canadian seminarians (obviously recognizing my fellow citizens thanks to their large flags). Among this group was a priest from Ontario (a vocations director by the name of Fr. Paul if I remember correctly...) who pointed out that the Carmelite Convent Edith Stein had belonged to was just down the road and suggested that we girls go and check it out. Since we had nothing better to do and it would be hours before we'd get to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father (which we did) we decided to set out and find this place.

When we arrived there we waited in a line-up to enter into the small chapel. The floor of the chapel was covered in young people, wall to wall, kneeling in Eucharistic Adoration. It was extremely crowded. Very very crowded. It was also very hot. Very hot and muggy. Going there was definitely worth it though. To kneel in Eucharistic Adoration at the Carmel of Cologne, where St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross dedicated her life to this very same person present in the Blessed Sacrament before me, was one of the spiritual highlights of World Youth Day for me.