These are quotations from Edith Stein, a German philosopher of Jewish origin. Converted to Catholicism as a Carmelite, she was canonized under the name of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Discover the most beautiful poems by Edith Stein.
"All suffering of the body of Christ, of the mystical body of Christ, of a member of the mystical body of Christ, receives from the head a redemptive value".
"I have always been very far from thinking that God's mercy is limited to the borders of the visible Church. God is the Truth. Whoever seeks the Truth, seeks God, whether he knows it clearly or not.”
“Every man must suffer and die. But if he is a living member of Christ, then his suffering and death receive a power of redemption from the divinity of the head.”
“When it is not possible to obtain the slightest external calm, when there is no room to withdraw, when imperious duties prevent a single hour of silence, then withdraw at least in oneself for a moment and flee to the Lord. It is there and can give us what we need in a single blink of an eye.”
“Who are you, sweet light, who fills me and illuminates the darkness of my heart? Like a mother's hand, you drive me, and if you let go of me, I can't take one more step. You are the space surrounding my being and sheltering it in you. You shall cast him out, and he shall sink into the abyss of nothingness, from whence you drew him, and lift him up to the light. You, who are closer to me than I am to myself, who are more inward than my own heart, and yet elusive, inconceivable, beyond every name, Holy Spirit, eternal Love! ».
"If Mary is the original image of pure femininity, the imitation of Mary must be the goal of the young girls’ education. If, it has been entrusted to the hands of the Queen of Heaven to spread grace, it will be necessary to reach the goal, not only to look up at her, but above all to cling to her, in confidence. The imitation of Mary is no different from the imitation of Christ, for the simple reason that Mary was the first to imitate Christ, that she was the first and most perfect portrait of Christ. It is for the same reason that the imitation of Mary is not only a matter of woman, but the duty of all Christians. For women, however, this path is particularly valuable since it leads them to an image of Christ that is proper to their femininity.”
“It does not matter whether the woman lives as a mother in her house, whether she occupies positions of public life, or whether she hides behind the walls of a cloister, she must be a servant of the Lord in all places, as the Mother of God has shown her. A young girl in the sacred precincts of the Temple, later during her hidden life in Bethlehem and Nazareth, at last at the head of the Apostles and of the first Christian communities after the death of her Son, if each woman were a replica of the Mother of God, each woman a sponsa Christi, each woman an apostle of the divine heart, then each one would fulfill her vocation as a woman, the vocation of a woman, whatever her living conditions, and whatever her outside activity ".
Edith Stein left a lot of writings that develop her philosophical thinking and give her spiritual message. Here are excerpts from her famous texts.
“For weeks, not only the Jews but also thousands of faithful Catholics in Germany (...) have been waiting and hoping that the Church of Christ will make its voice heard to put an end to this abuse of the name of Christ. Is not this idolatry of race and state power, hammered daily by the radio into the masses, an open heresy? Isn't this struggle to eliminate Jewish blood a blasphemy against the most holy humanity of our Redeemer, the Blessed Virgin and the Apostles? Is not all this in total contradiction with the attitude of our Lord and Savior, who prayed on the cross for his persecutors? (April 12, 1933)
“From now on, I accept the death that God has prepared for me, in full submission to his most holy will and with joy. I ask the Lord to accept my life and death for his honor and glorification, for all the intentions of the most holy hearts of Jesus and Mary and those of the holy Church, especially for the sanctification and perfection of our Holy Order, especially the Carmels of Cologne and Echt, as an atonement for the unbelief of the Jewish people and so that the Lord may be received by his own and his Kingdom may come in majesty, for the salvation of Germany and the peace of the world, finally for my living and dead parents and for all those whom God has given me: let none of them be lost. ”