I'm getting ready to do my commute into the city to visit Tess this morning. I told my husband today that the Children's Hospital Metro Stop is actually the same stop as Catholic University. "When I walked by Catholic U yesterday, I thought 'how much I'd rather be studying this stuff in a safe school room rather than living it!"
My husband laughed! I'm sure God is laughing with me too!
A little encouragement from Carmelite martyr Edith Stein. I love this saint so much. She was a bookworm scholar who was in the middle of writing the MOST beautiful explanation of St. John of the Cross' position on suffering. In the midst of her last revisions to the text, the SS tore her out of her Carmelite convent and sent her to Auschwitz for the crime of being born a Jew. I sort of picture St. John of the Cross saying from heaven "Excellent insights! Now go live it out!"
Here's an description of her last week on earth.
"Arrested on August 2, 1942, by the SS, she died one week later not very far from her home city of Breslau in the Auschwitz extermination camp. In that last week of her life she passed through the infernal network of Hilter's "final solution". She saw two intermediate transit camps in Holland, first Amersfoort, and then Westerbork. Others who had passed through Westerbork have described the deep sense of despair that overcame women in the camp. Understandably, the children were neglected, and an eyewitness account shows that Edith Stein did much to look after them. As Julius Marcan, a survivor, testified "It was Edith Stein's complete calm and self-possession that marked her out from the rest of the prisioners. Many of the mothers were on the brink of insanity and had sat moaning for days, without giving any thought to their children. Edith Stein immediately set about taking care of these little ones. She washed them, combed their hair and tired to make sure they were fed and cared for."
From Westerbork, Edith was able to send back a compelling message to the nuns at her monastery in Echt: "We place our trust in your prayers. There are so many persons here in need of a little comfort, and they expected it from the sisters."
She had only herself to give: her attentiveness, the time she took away from her own worries, and her sense of religious hope. She gave all that she had, because she was fully present with and to others, and she was willing to do as much as she could to share their burden of suffering so as to lighten the load. She acted as a compassionate sister to the suffering, to "be of some help to them."
(Carmel Clarion, March 2010, pg 8).
This last passage really helped me focus on my time with my daughter in the NICU. There is so much that I can't do for her. I can't feed her. I can't sleep next to her. I can't take her home. Yet, love is still a powerful force for good and healing in the NICU. I can give my daughter my "attentiveness, time from my own worries, and my sense of religious hope."
Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, please pray for us.