It has been surprising to me that I have found reading the spiritual writing of Edith Stein quite difficult. They haven’t moved me the way other spiritual writings have moved me. I have pondered on why that might be. Some of it is religious language and cultural difference, and yet it is more than that, for the people who knew Edith Stein were deeply moved by her writings, her intellect, and her love. But if there is one thing I take from her it is the sense of connection between the mystery of suffering and the mystery of love. Edith wrote about this in a poem, “I Will Remain with You…,” not long before she died in Auschwitz in 1942. Speaking of the mystery of both the suffering of Jesus and her love and bond with Jesus she wrote,
How wonderful are your gracious wonders!
All we can do is be amazed and stammer and fall silent
Because intellect and words fail.
These mysteries come into focus for us in Holy Week and Easter, the mystery of Christ’s suffering, and the mystery of his love for us and for all our suffering world. In the presence of such mysteries all we can do is fall into silence and wonder. May you, this Easter, find such moments of silence and wonder at the mystery of Christ’s suffering, and the mystery of his deep love for us and for all our suffering world.
4 April 2023
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