Tuesday, October 12, 2004 +

02004 10 12 +

Edith Stein born in Breslau in 1891.

God knows every human soul from eternity, with every secret of its being and every lapping of the waves of his life.

I believe that the more deeply someone is drawn into God, the more one must also come out of oneself; that is, come out into the world, in order to carry the divine life into it.

Prayer is the highest achievement of which the human spirit is capable.

We will help each other by prayer to learn more and more about making every day and every hour part of eternity.

Human language, of course, has no true proper names.

From Waltraud Herbstrith, Edith Stein: A Biography:

An experience she had on a visit to the cathedral in Frankfurt affected her deeply:

We went into the cathedral for a few moments, and as we stood there in respectful silence, a woman came in with her shopping basket and knelt down in one of the pews to say a short prayer. That was something completely new to me. In the synagogue, as in the Protestant churches I visited, people only went in at the time of the service. But here was someone coming into the empty church in the middle of a day's work as if to talk with a friend. I have never been able to forget that.

Edith Stein was confronted with the futility of discussion in achieving interior change. She recognized that prayer and personal sacrifice functioned as much more effective instruments. So she wrote to another of Husserl's former students, Sister Adelgundis Jaegerschmid:

I suppose it is good to be able to speak freely with [Husserl] about ultimate questions. And yet, not only does it increase his own level of responsibility, it also heightens our responsibility for him. Prayer and sacrifice, in my opinion, are much more crucial than anything we can say.... It's very possible that he could be a "chosen instrument" without being in a state of grace. I don't mean that we should judge him, and of course we have every right to hope in God's unfathomable mercy. On the other hand, we have no right to conceal how serious the issues are. After every meeting with him, I come away convince of my inability to influence him directly, and feeling the urgent necessity of offering some holocaust of my own for him.

"Why did you have to get to know him?" demanded Frau Stein. "He was a good man -- I'm not saying anything against him. But why did he have to go and make himself God?"

Caryll Houselander, d. 1954.

The beginning of integrity is not effort, but surrender; it is simply the opening of the heart to receive that for which the heart is longing. The healing of mankind begins whenever any man ceases to resist the love of God.