on taking up the cross of christ

In the January 2008 Theology Today, Marian Maskulak writes about Edith Stein’s image of the cross as a seed planted in the Christian disciple. According to Maskulak, Stein “understands the process of the seed’s growth to be formative.”

Maskulak writes:

For Stein, it is “a well-recognized truth–a theology of the cross–but a living, real, and effective truth. It is buried in the soul like a seed that takes root there and grows, making a distinct impression on the soul, determing what it does and omits, and by shining outwardly is recognized in this very doing and omitting.” Shifting to another metaphor, Stein relates this formative truth with life-giving power to the “word of the cross,” the title she gives to “Paul’s gospel.” God’s redemptive power entered this word of the cross and is available to all who are open to receive it. However, despite its formative character and life-giving power, the cross symbolizes “all that is difficult and oppressive and so against human nature that taking it upon oneself is like a journey to death. And the disciple of Jesus is to take up this burden daily.”

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