“Whoever lives within the Holy Church and its liturgy, that is to say, in a genuinely Catholic manner, will find himself incorporated in this so great human community” - Poem 83
Edith Stein's spirituality is marked by her quest for the Truth; first centered on the human person, she progressively discovers God who calls us to Communion with Him. All throughout her life, she delves deeper into the Mystery of the Communion between God and Man through the story of Salvation in the Ancient Alliance, the coming of the Verb incarnate and the Life of the Church.
Anthropological Foundation of Spirituality
The question that followed Edith all through her life is the one regarding the human person and more precisely the subject of the human person opened to God.
Already in 1917, she was writing in a letter to her philosopher friend Roman Ingarden that it “is impossible to come to a conclusive understanding of the Human Being without tackling the question of God” (letter of February 20th, 1917)
Edith is keen to underline how the Mystery of Man is clarified in the Mystery of God, and particularly more so in the Mystery of the Verb Incarnate.
“Effectively our whole being directs us toward communion with God: our uniqueness gives rise to an exclusive and irreplaceable relationship between every human being and Him; our empathetic capacity as human beings leads us to the possibility of an empathy between God and Man, the Knowledge of God through Empathy; our freedom is the condition for our self-giving in the union of Love. Our human characteristics make possible a personal relationship with God, a relationship that does not cease to deepen.”
Prayer of saint Teresa-Benedicta of the Cross
In Spite of the Night, from “Complete Poems”
Who are you, sweet light that fills me
And illumines the darkness of my heart?
You lead me like a mother’s hand,
And should you let go of me,
I would not know how to take another step.
You are the space
That embraces my being and buries it in yourself.
Away from you, it sinks into the abyss
Of nothingness, from which you raised it to the light.
You, nearer to me than I to myself
And more interior than my most interior
And still impalpable and intangible
And beyond any name:
Holy Spirit eternal love!
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6