We’re still in the grip of a hot and sunny summer, but August brings a wake-up call. By August’s end, visiting relatives have gone home, schools will be open, swimming pools will be closed, and college kids have packed up and left for the halls of academia. What’s all that mean for the Christian steward? As we journey through August, parishes begin to teem with plans and new vitality.
The parish is where the Church lives, and stewards are the lifeblood of a successful parish. In the parish, we find community and support, liturgy and ritual, sacrament and healing. In the parish, we find a way to give and a way to receive. On a practical level, fall is the time when parish planning gears up for the seasons ahead. Now, for a Christian steward, is the time to prayerfully consider your own involvement in the life of the parish in the coming year. How might we serve – and be served? The Christian steward knows participation in the parish is a win-win situation, feeding us as we feed others.
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross(Edith Stein)
Edith Stein was born in 1891 to a Jewish family living in Breslau, Germany. From a very young age she was intellectually curious and loved to learn. She rejected her family’s Jewish piety and even God because her observation was that people acted as though they did not believe in God. She was a brilliant university student and graduated summa cum laude with a doctoral degree in philosophy. She became the assistant to one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, Edmund Husserl, who recognized and admired her intellectual gifts.
In 1921 Edith had a conversion experience. At age 30, she began reading the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila in a friend’s library and couldn’t put it down. “This is the truth!” she exclaimed. She converted to Catholicism and was baptized on New Year’s Day, 1922.
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The Canticle of Mary
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on all ages will call me blessed. The mighty one has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen. see Luke 1:46-55 (New American Bible, rev. ed. 2011)
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