I received the beautiful wooden candlestick with the large Easter candle, although I surmise this large light was intended for the Novice Mistress <Teresia Renata>. It will burn for me now during my retreat, when I make my meditation in the solitude of my cell, away from the community.
Our holy Father John of the Cross will be my guide: the Ascent of Mount Carmel. Probably I will be allowed to begin early on Friday. I would like most of all to remain in solitude until the morning of the Clothing [15 April 1934, Good Shepherd Sunday], but there is a possibility that I will be called out the day before at the request of guests from out of town.
Edith wanted to begin her retreat on Freitag 13 April (Friday) but she was afraid that she would have to go to the parlor to meet guests on Sonnabend 14 April (Saturday).
I look forward with so much joy to the silence. As much as I love the Divine Office and as loath as I am to be away from the choir even for the shortest of the Hours—the basis of our life, after all, is the two hours of meditation provided by our schedule. Only since I’ve been enjoying this privilege do I know how much I missed by not having it outside.
Our Reverend Mother will surely be glad to send along <with this letter> the ritual for the Clothing ceremony. It will be so much better if you can read it before it takes place—even though you cannot be present yourself.
In her biography St. Edith Stein’s novice mistress mentions that Edith’s sister Rosa “sent some heavy white silk material” for the nuns to sew Edith’s bridal gown; and later, a white “Mass vestment” (Posselt 2005).
Particular thanks for the Easter Prefaces: they are helping me celebrate the beautiful octave. And above all, thank you again for your love that I have in no way earned.
Saint Edith Stein
Letter 168 to Mother Petra Brüning (excerpts)
Easter week 1934
Posselt, T 2005, Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite, translated from the German by Batzdorff S, Koeppel J, and Sullivan J, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Stein, E. 2014, The Hidden Life: hagiographic essays, meditations, spiritual texts, translated from the German by Stein, W, ICS Publications, Washington DC.