Saint Teresa of Jesus’
During that time of unusual demonstrations of grace and of the most severe tests, Teresa also received a visible sensory image of the glowing love that pierced her heart.
“I saw beside me at my left side an angel in a physical form. . . . Because of his flaming face, he seemed to belong to that lofty choir made up only of fire and love. . . . I saw a long golden dart in his hands the end of which glowed like fire. From time to time the angel pierced my heart with it. When he pulled it out again, I was entirely inflamed with love for God.”
The heart of the saint, which has been preserved in the monastery of Alba and remains intact to this day, bears a long, deep wound.
One who loves feels compelled
to do something for the beloved.
Saint Edith Stein
Love for Love (excerpt)
For comparison purposes, we share the corresponding translation of St. Teresa’s account of the transverberation from the 1985 edition by Fathers Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD and Otilio Rodriguez, OCD:
“I saw close to me toward my left side an angel in bodily form. . . . His face was so aflame that he seemed to be one of those very sublime angels that appear to be all afire. . . . I saw in his hands a large golden dart and at the end of the iron tip there appeared to be a little fire. It seemed to me this angel plunged the dart several times into my heart and that it reached deep within me. When he drew it out, I thought he was carrying off with him the deepest part of me; and he left me all on fire with great love of God.”
Dr. Lucy Gelber and Fr. Michael Linssen, OCD indicate in their notes that the manuscript of the article Love for Love included this addition: Leben und Werke der heiligen Teresa von Jesus. Edith also dated the manuscript at the end of the foreword: Carmel Cologne-Lindenthal, Candlemas, 1934.
Dr. Gelber and Father Linssen continue:
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.
Stein, E. 2014, The Hidden Life: hagiographic essays, meditations, spiritual texts, translated from the German by Stein, W, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
How fascinating! I seem to recall a passage or two in the Song of Songs about being wounded by Love… thank you for these painstaking details. Last year I was praying this feast day with my Propers. I find it very moving still.
We love it too!