Editors Introduction

Editors Introduction | Volume IV of the Collected Works of Blessed Edith Stein

I. Selection of the Contributions

Edith Stein was by nature a contemplative person. Without hesitation, she devoted herself to this talent, most truly a part of her nature. At first she followed the pull of God's grace more or less unawares. Then she surrendered to it consciously all the way to giving witness to a lived mysticism.

In the unfolding of her personality, Edith Stein was led on paths of philosophical thinking from phenomenology to the foundations of being. New horizons disclosed themselves to her searching spirit. She recognized the finitude of all created being and so also the mortality of human existence but, at the same time, too, its foundation in an absolute, eternal Being. Through the decisive effect of this inner openness, her philosophical path and her secular way of life gradually melded into the character of a contemplative person.

Her search for truth goes hand in hand with her sacrifice of her life, united to the sacrifice on the Cross. She lives this search out of a continually fresh enthusiasm and as a member of a universal church.@1 The spiritual fruits of this life's destiny, reflections committed to paper, have a sharp flavor and ripened especially during the time that Edith Stein lived in Carmel.

Edith Stein also had a definite social gift. Above all, she could listen attentively. The apostle James admonished Christians to practice listening: "Everyone should be instantly ready to hear, but be reserved in speaking" (Jas 1:19). Such true listening demands high qualities of character. Genuine listening consists not only in understanding words; it demands of the listener intensive empathy and identification, even going so far as to let oneself be changed to join someone else on the way.

Edith Stein possessed this gift which Gabriel Marcel appropriately calls "creative fidelity," which means making ourselves interiorly open and transparent. Being ready to give, we experience the mysterious reciprocity between free action and ready allowing. So we become participating listeners. It is the meeting of the contemplative and active dispositions of the spirit.@2

Edith Stein possessed this gift of making inner contact with others even though she herself preferred to remain reserved. What went on in the depths of her soul came out only sparingly. Many who knew her before and after her entrance into the convent attest to this. Her inner life remained her secret. But she cannot entirely conceal it from the inquiring eye of posterity. We who are already sufficiently distanced from her in time to listen in on her silence with understanding are permitted to read between the lines of her writings the messages of a soul that had mystical experiences, and probably also a presentiment of the meaning of her life and suffering for posterity.

Considered as a whole, Edith Stein's achievement is a synthesis that is, so to speak, inherently an "ecumenical" effort, synthesizing the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas and Husserl's phenomenology; blending the Old and New Covenants; creating fellowship among Christian churches; equally valuing men and women; making limited, finite being at home in all-embracing, eternal being. In her person, Edith Stein herself unites the gifts of rigorous logical thinking and the intuitive flight of the muse, in a seldom found harmony.

In the comprehensive study of Finite and Eternal Being, we encounter her philosophical thinking, but also how she broke through the antithesis of spirit and matter to illuminating faith. Freed of enslavement to matter, the human soul can take flight up to God.

In the biographies and reflections of this volume, we encounter the spiritual intuition, this invisible divine breath, that led Edith Stein to Carmel where she lived for eight years as Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Even though the themes of these texts vary a great deal, the author shows that the paths to the religious formation of the human person are nevertheless parallel. Throughout we run into the possibility of the sanctification of the soul's efforts. This possibility becomes an actuality when we freely follow the pull of God's grace and allow ourselves to be led to perfection by God's Spirit. In her descriptions of saints, we see Edith Stein's great gift for psychologically penetrating figures from the past and for presenting them as alive. Her clear mind leads her to a faith-filled understanding of an order in all creation by the power of grace.

In summary, we may say that a four-fold goal has determined the selection of the contributions in this volume. The selections endeavor to:

establish a basis for the origin of Edith Stein's hagiographic essays and her spiritual reflections;

document Edith Stein's call to Carmel;

display her thinking in its deepest mystical form;

bring in the poetic components of Edith Stein's Carmelite spirituality.

This Volume XI of Edith Steins Werke in part contains new revised editions of earlier publications and in part the first publication of manuscripts from her literary estate. The texts originate from the years 1930 to 1942, thus from the turbulent period that begins with Edith Stein's move from Speyer to Münster, and ends shortly before her deportation from the Dutch Carmel in Echt and her death in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

Even though these manuscripts are often incomplete regarding date and signature, we were able to obtain the missing dates in indirect ways. We can also vouch for the authenticity of the writings with complete certainty.

II. Origin of the Contributions

Upon entering Carmel, Edith Stein conclusively decided on a religious orientation in her intellectual and spiritual interests. At the same time, however, she saw herself confronting new tasks in her current situation. Thus we find her on the one hand as a mature woman and on the other a young Carmelite. From then on, this tension led to a certain selection of themes.

Since the opportunities for professional work are very limited in the monasteries of the Discalced Carmelites, though one of the possible activities is that of a writer, Sister Benedicta, as Edith Stein was called after her clothing, was asked to compose hagiographic essays and religious reflections on a regular basis.

Along with this mostly exterior reason for the origin of her writings, there also crystallizes an inner, personal motivation: Edith Stein poses and answers questions which are of decisive importance to herself. In the persons and situations that she describes, she frequently recognizes a mirror image of herself, an evident similarity to her own characteristics and experiences. At such points she breaks her otherwise impenetrable silence about herself in an indirect way. For a moment she lifts the veil behind which her interior life is hidden and permits a glimpse of a vanished yesterday, vanishing today, and dark tomorrow.

III. Subject Matter of the Contributions

When we take a look at "The Prayer of the Church," we also find answers to the questions of our own time. The spirit that searches more deeply than usual finds here a concisely worded contrast between the prayer and rites of the Old and New Covenants in their factual and historical circumstances. She presents prayer in its dual significance, as divine worship and as an individual dialogue with God. She introduces us to the interior life and so to the prayer life of Carmel and to her own personal prayer life. The maturity, serenity, and religious depth of her words have convincing power.

"St Elizabeth of Thuringia" is portrayed enwrapped in fairytale magic, as a child of an Hungarian king who resided on the Wartburg, bathed in the light of the legendary fame and brilliance of the nobles of Thuringia. This short biography is simultaneously a verse out of the epic of the German middle ages.

In writing about the French Carmelite "Marie-Aimée de Jésus," Edith Stein paints the picture of a delicate child of angelic purity and spirituality. Born in the thatched hut of a little town in Normandy, she is called from the first day of her life to loving contemplation of the Almighty. This is an episode taken from nineteenth century French devotional life.

In both Elizabeth's and Marie-Aimée's manifest mental attitudes, Edith Stein finds a confirmation of her own knowledge in faith that all creation is directed by the power of grace. In the image of the character of Marie-Aimée she encounters her own self. She cites and comments on texts from their writings,@3 which could also justify her entrance into the Order of the Discalced Carmelites, could appropriately describe her own intuitive way of working, and present in a true-to-life way her frame of mind as a writer while in the Order.

In the "Sketch of St Teresa Margaret," Edith Stein talks of Margaret's spontaneous empathic ability, a gift which also lent Edith herself unusually strong influential powers, and harmoniously united intellect and feelings in her own person.

Two basic thoughts determine Edith Stein's religious form of life. They direct her thinking along religious lines, ground her turning to the contemplative life, and support her activities in the service of the church. One of these is the love of the cross, which gives our being, unstable because of change and transience, an ultimate security in the constant primal Ground of eternal Being. The other is atonement, which breaks through the disastrous and endless cycle of our own and others' debt of shame in the face of God's goodness and justice and so achieves reconciliation and peace.

Love of the cross and atonement are also expressed in the three vows, which regulate monastic life and which are [ceremonially] renewed annually, the vows of poverty, obedience, and celibate chastity.

In Carmel it is customary for the prioress to address her sisters on high feast days of the Order, often about the deepening of prayer life. In the years that Edith Stein spent in the Carmel in Echt, she composed a number of such occasional texts at the request of the superior.@4 In these meditations we hear the voice of a devout soul that in inner abandonment is ready to give up her earthly existence to atone for the outrages of the unchained beast of National Socialism. Above and beyond a violent death without a grave, in these reflections Edith Stein leaves us the moving invitation to live out the conviction of our faith. She breaks her silence to open our inner eye to the "epiphany" of her hidden life.

Finally, we want to mention the providential spiritual relationship of Holy Mother Teresa of Avila to her spiritual daughter Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, a relationship that becomes evident in the hagiographic writing "Love for Love."

In moments of intuitive genius, the human spirit can be elevated beyond the limited possibilities of rational insight to poetic or prophetic vision. In celestial moments of its existence, it may be allotted the grace of temporary rapture into transcendent worlds. Silent meditation is the preparation and the way to comprehensible and incomprehensible elevations of the soul and so to entrance to the ultimate depths of one's own self.

The clear language of prose is suitable for expressing rational thought; meditative and prophetic ascension of the spirit requires the linguistic expression of the poetic form. Words fail in the vision of the transcendent; their place is taken by wordless contemplation in deepest silence.

Between the lines of the writings one can read that the lives of these two women, the saintly Mother Teresa of Avila and Blessed Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, have all along been parallel. Edith Stein went through a decisive upheaval upon reading the life of the Holy Mother. From then on she became profoundly familiar with the prayer life of Carmel, even to the heights of mystical experience before she ever donned a nun's habit. Stepping over the threshold of the monastery meant for her the confirmation and perfection of the lifestyle that suited her best.

IV. Authenticity of the Edition

This eleventh volume of Edith Steins Werke contains thirteen distinct contributions, some of which are short reflections and others long articles, as well as a group of dialogues and poems. The texts are brought together by the editor in book form under the title of The Hidden Life: Hagiographic Essays, Meditations, Spiritual Texts.

The individual contributions are not organized chronologically but according to content along the following basic lines: before the face of God; on God's mercy; at the foot of the cross; the grace of vocation. The inclusion of the poems as the last contribution is intended as a presentation of Edith Stein's spiritual perfection and her readiness to give up her life as an atoning sacrifice for fallen humanity. The reader will welcome the opportunity to expand the picture of Edith Stein's personality and her activity as a Discalced Carmelite by perusing the contributions in this suggested order.

The texts of the unpublished essays and reflections were put together partly from ordered, partly from loose manuscript pages, from copies, and from various kinds of documentation. Some of the papers were recovered from the ruins of the monastery in Herkenbosch in the Netherlands.@6 The reconstruction of the texts was done by comparing them with works first published during the author's lifetime, to determine if perhaps we were dealing with manuscript pages of these works. We also examined the paper and the type face.

The texts of the dialogues and poems are in the Archives of the Carmel in Cologne. Mother Maria Amata Neyer has granted us permission to use them in this volume.@7

The contributions were revised using the following guidelines (in terms of language and not of content):

The text was clearly divided by the uniform placement of the title and subtitles, by the completion of missing inscriptions, and by breaking up overlong sections into additional paragraphs. Sentence structure that was in error or incomplete sentences were improved according to their sense and occasionally expanded.

Spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure were standardized according to current German usages.

Names in the Old and New Testaments are written in accordance with today's rules. Spanish names are presented in their original form.

These changes in the original texts are not mentioned in the notes to the individual manuscripts.

Changes, deletions, or additions by a different hand were ignored. We are literally reproducing the original wording of the relevant manuscripts.

Notes with an asterisk (*) are supplementary remarks by the editor [or occasionally by the translator as indicated].

1.1 On the History and Spirit of Carmel

This article appeared with the above title in the Sunday supplement "Zu neuen Ufern," Number 13 of the Augsburger Postzeitung [Augsburg Post] on March 31, 1935. The author is designated as Sister Teresia Benedicta a Cruce (Edith Stein). The Cologne Carmel has a photograph of the original newspaper. The Archives has a copy of the article under the call number DI 20, whose text Mother Maria Amata Neyer published in the internal newsletter of German Carmelites, Treffpunkt [Contact Point] 6, no. 1 (1976), pp. 13-17.

Paper: 5 single sheets with page numbers 13-17, 21 x 28.5 cm.

Script: Typewriter.

Cf. a comment in a letter by Edith Stein to Gisela Naegeli on August 9, 1935 (Edith Steins Werke, Vol. IX, Letter 209): "The essay appeared on Laetare Sunday [the fourth Sunday in Lent] in the Sunday supplement of the Augsburger Postzeitung."

1.2 The Prayer of the Church

In the Archives under call number DI 11 there are two copies published at that time by the Akademischen Bonifacius-Einigung, Paderborn in its series "Vom Strom des Lebens in der Kirche," single issue 4: Teresia Benedicta a Cruce, O.C.D., "The Prayer of the Church." The issue is undated. The imprimatur on the volume is December 11, 1936, copyright 1937. Along with its own pagination, the installment also contains the pagination of the entire work.

Paper: 16 printed sheets, 15.5 x 23 cm.

Script: Printed text without handwritten notes in Edith Stein's hand.

Under the call number AII K is page 1 of the handwritten manuscript with the title, Vom Gebet der Kirche [The Prayer of the Church]. It is a single sheet of paper that Edith Stein used, along with letters from the year 1936, to write summaries of philosophical works.@? The letters confirm the assumption that the manuscript originated in 1936.

Paper: 1 single sheet, 16 x 20.5 cm.

Script: Latin script, ink, on one side of the sheet (on the other side philosophical notes).

2.1 The Spirit of St Elizabeth as It Informed Her Life

 

The entire manuscript of the article with the above title [Lebensgestaltung im Geist der heiligen Elisabeth] is found in the Archives under the call number DI 2 signed with the name Dr. Edith Stein (Breslau).

Paper: 40 single sheets, 16.5 x 21 cm.

Script: Latin script, ink, writing on one side of the sheets.

The manuscript is undated, but accompanied by a syllabus that associates the manuscript with lectures that Edith Stein gave during this time all over the German-speaking world:

St Elizabeth

A. Meaning of the Jubilee.

B.I Her external path through life

II The spirit that speaks from this: love, cheerfulness, naturalness a strong mystical lifestyle (admonitions of her life, Franciscan spirit, obedience)

III Nature freedom grace as principles informing her life

Paper: 1 double sheet, 11 x 15 cm.

Script: Latin script, ink, written on one side of the sheet.

The article appeared in the Benediktinischen Monatsschrift XIII, Nos. 9/10 (1931), pp. 366-377,.with slight changes in the text from the manuscript published here. The syllabus remained unpublished, and appears in print for the first time here.

The manuscript reproduces the wording of the lecture that Edith Stein gave on January 24, 1932 in Zürich.@8

Cf. the printed version of this lecture published by Herderbücherei, No. 129, Freiburg, 1962.

2.2 Love For Love

 

Found in the Archives under the call number DI 3:

The complete manuscript of the article with the above title and the addition Leben und Werke der heiligen Teresa von Jesus and dated at the end of the foreword: Carmel Cologne-Lindenthal, Candlemas, 1934.

Paper: 67 double sheets and 5 single sheets, 21.5 x 17 cm. On the back of the sheets a carbon copy of a typewritten work by Stein: Des heiligen Thomas von Aquino Untersuchungen über die Wahrheit.

Script: Latin script, ink, the text of DI 3 written on one side of the sheets.

A typewritten copy of the manuscript with the author's notes for possible places to shorten it; changes in the title, completion of names and corrections of the text in an unknown hand.

Paper: 64 single sheets about 15.5 x 10.5 cm.

Script of the notes: handwritten, ink.

The article appeared in Kleine Lebensbilder, No. 84, Freiburg, Kanisiuswerk, 1934.

Edith Stein mentions the appearance of the shortened article in her letter to Mother Petra Brüning of October 17, 1934 (Edith Steins Werke, Vol. IX, Letter 182): "I am allowed to send you the little book on Teresa that I wrote for our dear mother's name day and that has now appeared even though horribly shortened...."

These dates reveal that Edith Stein, still using her name in the world, wrote this study of St Teresa while she was a postulant, and that this article composed during the first months of her life in the Order appeared in print after her clothing (April 15, 1934), now using her religious name. At that time the original title of the manuscript was also changed to Teresa of Jesus.

2.3 St Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart

The complete manuscript of this article is found in the Archives under the call number DI 5 with the above title and with the two-fold imprimatur:

Provincial Office (Ratisbonae, April 25, 1934);

Episcopal Ordinary (Würzburg, April 28, 1934).

Moreover, the Cologne Carmel is in possession of the document of an imprimatur dated April 6, 1934 in Cologne and signed by Dr. David, Vicar General.

The manuscript is undated and signed "Sister Teresia Benedicta a Cruce O.C.D."; it nevertheless begins with the sentence, "On March 19, 1934 Pope Pius XI entered Blessed Teresa Margaret of the Heart of Jesus in the register of saints."

Paper: 17 double sheets and 1 single sheet, 21.5 x 17 cm. On the back of the sheets a carbon copy of a typewritten work by Stein: Des heiligen Thomas von Aquino Untersuchungen über die Wahrheit.

Script: Latin script, ink, sheets inscribed on one side with the Text of DI 5.

The article was published by Rita-Verlag, Würzburg, 1934.

From these dates it can be concluded that Edith Stein conceived this article in the year of her clothing, too, and reworked it for publication.

2.4 A Chosen Vessel of Divine Wisdom

Found in the Archives under the call number DI 9:

The complete manuscript of the essay with the above title and the subtitle: Sr. Marie-Aimée de Jésus of the Carmel of the Avenue de Saxe in Paris, 1839-1874. The manuscript is signed by Edith Stein using the name "Sr. Teresia Benedicta a Cruce, Karmel Echt," though undated.

Paper: 9 double sheets, 23 x 14.5 cm.

Script: Latin script, ink. Writing on both sides of the sheets

A carefully corrected typewritten copy signed by Edith Stein using the name "Sr. Teresia Benedicta a Cruce O.C.D.," but also undated.

Paper: 22 single sheets, 27.5 x21.5 cm.

Script of the revision: Latin script, ink.

A photocopy of a second sample of this typewritten version that remained in the Carmel in Echt with a handwritten dedication to the then prioress, Mother Ottilia Thammisch. The dedication reads, "To Dear Reverend Mother Ottilia on September 29, 1940 in filial love and gratitude. Sr. Teresia Benedicta a Cruce."

The manuscript, unpublished until now, appears in print here for the first time.

References to this study can be found in Edith Stein's correspondence; see Edith Steins Werke, Vol. IX:

First in writing to Sr. Marie Agnella Stadtmüller, O.P., on October 29, 1939 (Letter 306): "Recently, I finished a little biography of the Carmelite Marie-Aimée de Jésus (of the Paris Carmel) for a collection that Fr Eugen Lense is publishing with Benziger."

One year later in a letter to Mother Johanna van Weersth, O.C.D., (Letter 316): "I am sending Your Reverence a little biography of Sr Marie-Aimée. I wrote it more than a year ago for a collection that was supposed to come out around Easter. But now it cannot be published before the end of the war. In any case, Sr M. Electa will be interested in it. Her translation, which we read at table, led me to choose M.-Aimée when I was asked for a portrait of a Carmelite."

On the basis of these indications, we can assume that the study was done in 1939 for publication by Benziger, Einsiedeln,@9 but did not appear in print at that time because of the war.

3.1 Love of the Cross

In the Archives under the call number DI 6 there is a typewritten copy of this article with the above title and the subtitle: For the Feast of St John of the Cross. The copy is originally signed by Edith Stein with the name "Dr. Edith Stein," later supplemented by her religious name: "Schw. Teresia Benedicta a Cruce, Köln- Lindenthal."

In an unknown hand, assumed to be by someone from the Carmel in Echt, the addition Köln-Lindenthal was crossed out. Also, along with other words crossed out in the text, the wording of the title was changed to "Mystical Expiatory Suffering: For the Feast of St John of the Cross, November 24." The reader will find here the original, unabridged version of the text.

The reflection is undated, but presumably written around 1934 after her entrance into the Carmel of Cologne.

Paper: 3.5 single sheets, 29.5 x 21 cm.

Signature: Latin script, ink.

The article appears in print here for the first time.

3.2 Exaltation of the Cross

The complete manuscript of this meditation is found in the Archives under the call number DI 12 with the above title, and the subtitle: September 14, 1939: Ave Crux, Spes Unica. The text is not signed.

Since Edith Stein came to Echt on New Year's Eve, 1938, these pages were written for the community there during the first year of her stay in the Echt Carmel, for its yearly renewal of vows on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (September 14).

Paper: 2 double sheets, 24.5 x 14.5 cm.

Script: Latin script, ink, written on both sides of the sheets.

The text appears in print here for the first time.

3.3 The Marriage of the Lamb

 

The complete manuscript of these reflections with the above title is found in the Archives under the call number DI 10, with the subtitle: For September 14, 1940. The text is not signed.

Thus, these reflections are also written in the following year for the convent family (see above, 3.2).

Paper: 8 double sheets, 24.5 x14.5 cm.

Script: Latin script, ink, written on both sides of some pages and on one side of others.

The text is published here for the first time.

3.4 Exaltation of the Cross

 

The complete manuscript of this third meditation for September 14 is found in the Archives under the call number DI 15 with the above title and the subtitle: September 9, 1941. The text is not signed.

Thus, welling from the deepest depths, this exhortation for the Exaltation of the Cross dates from the third and last year Edith Stein was still permitted to spend under the protective roof of the Carmel in Echt (deportation: August 1942). The meditation clearly has to do with the vows of the Order and their renewal on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross; therefore, it was intended as an address by the Mother Prioress on this solemn feast day (see above, 3.2 and 3.3).

Paper: 2 double sheets, 22 x 17 cm.

Script: Latin script, ink, written on two sides of the sheets.

The text appears in print here for the first time.

4.1 Three Addresses

 

Like the previous reflections (see 3.1-4), these texts were also conceived as addresses and lectures by the prioress. The first text was for the clothing of a novice, and the two following texts were for the then customary renewal of vows in the Carmelite Order at Epiphany (January 6).

a. For the First Profession of Sister Miriam of Little St Thérèse

The complete manuscript of this spiritual address is found in the Archives under the call number DI 13, with the above title and the subtitle: July 16, 1940. The text is not signed.

By teaching Latin in the novitiate in Echt (see Edith Steins Werke, Vol. X, Ch. 7), Edith Stein had a strong influence on the formation of the young sisters. Sister Miriam was one of these novices who attended Edith Stein's daily classes.

Paper: 6 single sheets, 21.5 x 16 cm.

Script: Latin script, ink, written on two sides of the sheet.

The text appears in print here for the first time.

b. The Hidden Life and Epiphany

The complete manuscript for this meditation for the Feast of the Three Wise Men from the East is found in the Archives under the label DI 16. The text is neither signed nor dated.

Since Edith Stein came to Echt in 1938 and since there are two additional reflections for the Feast of the Three Kings in the Archives, one for the year 1941, the other for the year 1942,@10 the present manuscript can be dated January 6, 1940 with certainty.

c. For January 6, 1941

The complete manuscript of this second meditation for the end of the Christmas liturgical cycle is found under the call number DI 14. The text is not signed.

Paper: 2 double sheets, 22 x 14 cm.

Script: Latin script, ink, written on two sides of the sheets.

The text appears in print here for the first time.

4.2 Three Dialogues

In the Archives there are only photocopies of typewritten manuscripts, under the call numbers DI 22, 23, and 24, of these dramatic and oral pieces whose text Mother Johanna van Weersth gave to the Cologne Carmel in later years along with precise statements. At this point we express our heartfelt thanks to Mother Johanna a Cruce.

Possibly Edith Stein's written copies of these three pieces of fiction have been lost, or perhaps may still be found later. These manuscripts were not presented to Fr Romaeus Leuven, O.C.D., when he visited the Dutch Discalced Carmelites as provincial and examiner of Edith Stein's writings at the Carmel in Echt.

The dialogues are occasional pieces in two respects. They are conceived as presentations for specific feast days of the monastic community and were acted out and presented by the novitiate as "stage plays." At the same time, they are implicitly the written record of thoughts springing from the hiddenness of the deepest interiority: illuminations of her own path of seeking and finding the truth that led to her conversion and baptism; the meaning of the fate of Jews; and, furthermore, Edith Stein's motivation for her own religious calling.

The composition of the fictional pieces in dialogue form and metrical language display a basic characteristic of Edith Stein's literary talents. Already in her youth she used to write dramatic and oral pieces, related concretely to the occasion, for celebrations with family and friends; see, among other texts, Edith Steins Werke, Vol. VII, pp. 102, 146, 149, 184. In later years, she once again seized on the dialogue form for her initial conception of the comparison of Husserl's phenomenology and the philosophy of St Thomas Aquinas; see Edith Steins Werke, Vol. X, pp. 54 and 56.

a. I Am Always in Your Midst

 

This dialogue, first in time, was presented for Mother Ottilia's name day on December 13, 1939.

The discourse of Mother Ursula with St Angela, the foundress of the Ursuline congregation, has to do with Mother Petra Brüning, Superior of the Ursulines in Dorsten, and their concern and doubt about their work at that time as guides of young souls (see Edith Steins Werke, Vol. IX, Letter 321).

Paper: 3 single sheets, 29.5 x 21 cm.

Script: Neither edited nor signed in Edith Stein's hand.

An original copy of the manuscript (in the possession of the Cologne Carmel) bears the above title and says that Edith Stein wrote on 6 sheets double-spaced and double-sided, that she folded these sheets in half, bound them together with a thread, and numbered the pages from 1-11.

The text appears in print here for the first time.

b. Te Deum Laudamus [We Praise Thee]: For December 7, 1940 [Feast of St Ambrose]

Sister Benedicta wrote this dialogue second (DI 23), for the name day of the newly elected Mother Antonia, whose middle name was Ambrosia.

Paper: 4 single sheets, 29.5 x 21 cm.

Script: Neither edited nor signed in Edith Stein's hand.

The text appears in print here for the first time.

c. Conversations at Night

The occasion for this third and last dialogue (DI 24) was the birthday celebration of Mother Antonia on June 13, 1941.@11

In the dialogue between the prioress and Esther, Edith Stein points as a visionary to the possible deliverance of the Jewish people by the saving power of the Cross. She lets Mother Antonia a Spiritu Sancto, the prioress of the Carmel in Echt at that time, and her fellow sisters recognize the crucial significance of constant prayer, and so recognize that all their vocations help with the work of salvation.

Paper: 4 single sheets, 29.5 x 21 cm.

Script: Neither edited nor signed in Edith Stein's hand.

The text appears in print here for the first time.

Closing Hymn: Three Poems

a. I Will Remain with You

 

In the Archives there is a photocopy of the handwritten script under the call number EIII 3.1. The original is in the Carmel "Maria vom Frieden" in Cologne. The poem is neither dated nor signed. Most likely it originated for the occasion of the departure from the Carmel Köln-Lindenthal on December 31, 1938.

Paper: 3 double sheets 17.5 x11 cm.

Script: Latin script, ink, some sheets with writing on one side and some on both sides; two small symbolic drawings at the beginning and the end of the poem.

The text appears in print here for the first time.

b. And I Remain With You

A typewritten copy of this poem is found in the Archives under the call number EIII 3.2 with improvements in the wording that Fr Romaeus Leuven, OCD, made by comparing it with the handwritten manuscript. The manuscript remained in the Carmel in Echt.

This copy has the inserted comment "(From a Pentecost novena)" over the above title; and under the title in Mother Antonia's handwriting, well-known to us, there is the addition: "Poem after a conversation of ours in the garden. Summer, 1942."

On the basis of this addition dated by Mother Antonia, we may assume that we have here one of Edith Stein's very last poems. We tried to make the breaks of the lines into stanzas more unified, to improve the indications of sentence endings according to the meaning, but to reproduce the text of the poem word for word.

Paper: 2 single sheets, 29.5 x 21 cm.

Script: Neither edited nor signed in Edith Stein's hand.

The poem appears in print here for the first time.

Dr. L. Gelber


Copyright ICS Publications. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, if this copyright notice is included. Maintained by the Austrian Province of the Teresian Carmel