Quote of the day, 27 December: St. Edith Stein

Again we kneel with the three kings at the manger. The heartbeat of the Divine Child has guided the star that led us here. Its light, the reflection of the eternal light, is variously distributed in the rays around the heads of the saints whom the Church shows us as the court of the newborn King of Kings. […]

Mary and Joseph are not to be separated from their Divine Child in the Christmas liturgy. […] Closest to the newborn Savior we see St. Stephen. […] Not far from the first martyr stand the flores martyrum, the tender buds that were broken before they had ripened to the act of sacrifice. […]

Neither will the Savior allow him who was particularly dear to him during his life, the disciple whom Jesus loved, to be absent from the manger. He is entrusted to us as the example of virginal purity. Because he was pure, he pleased the Lord. He was allowed to rest on the heart of Jesus to be initiated there into the secrets of the Divine Heart.

As the heavenly Father witnessed to his Son when he cried out, “This is My beloved Son: listen to him!” [Lk 9:35], so the Divine Child also seems to point to the beloved disciple and to say, “No frankincense is more pleasing to me than the loving submission of a pure heart. Listen to him who was permitted to look at God because he was pure of heart.”

No one has looked more deeply into the hidden abyss of the divine life than he. Therefore, he proclaims the mystery of the eternal birth of the Divine Word in the liturgy each feast day during the days of Christmas and continues to do so at the end of daily Mass. He participated in the struggles of his Lord as only a soul with bridal love could. He has drawn for us the Good Shepherd who goes after lost sheep.

“We can learn from John how precious human souls are to the Divine Heart.” -St Edith Stein #StJohntheEvangelist #FeastDay

We can learn from John how precious human souls are to the Divine Heart and how we can give him no greater joy than by being willing instruments on his shepherding way. He has carefully preserved and transmitted to us passages in which the Savior witnessed to himself and made known his divinity before friends and foes.

He has disclosed to us the shrine of the Divine Heart by recording for us the Lord’s farewell address and his high priestly prayer. Through John, we know how we are to participate as our destiny in the life of Christ—as a branch of the divine vine—and in the life of the triune God.

While he was still alive, he was permitted to see the incarnate God as the judge of the world in order to paint for us the mighty, enigmatic images of the mysterious revelation of the final days. He showed us this in that book which, like none other, can teach us to understand the chaos of this time as a part of the great battle between Christ and the Antichrist, a book of relentless solemnity and consoling promise.

John at the manger of the Lord—this says to us: See what happens to those who give themselves to God with pure hearts.

Saint Edith Stein

For 6 January 1941

Stein, E. 2014, The Hidden Life: hagiographic essays, meditations, spiritual texts, translated from the German by Stein, W, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Featured image: This detail of the Last Supper (ca. 1480) comes from the famed Unterlinden Museum in Colmar, France. Photo credit: mazanto / Flickr (Some rights reserved)

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