Writing to a former student from St. Magdalena teachers college in Speyer, St. Edith Stein assumes the role of spiritual director. In this letter from 1936, she counsels the young woman not to seek changes that are "apt to disturb one's inner peace" because whenever we attempt to get rid of one cross, we usually get a heavier cross, instead. Two years later, this student would become a Discalced Carmelite postulant in the Carmel of Kordel.
"The soul must practice the following instructions if it wishes to attain in a short time holy recollection and spiritual silence, nakedness, and poverty of spirit, where one enjoys the peaceful comfort of the Holy Spirit," writes St John of the Cross in the introduction to The Precautions.
Poet Jessica Powers ponders the first stanza of Saint John of the Cross's poem, "The Dark Night". She asks, "How does one hush one's house?..."
Bishop Silvio José Báez says that in our lives, "everything can begin anew with renewed strength and new dreams" when "love is what drives us from within." Even St. Teresa of Avila agrees: "love alone is what gives value to all things."
Bishop Báez, preaching on the encounter of the Risen Christ with his disciples offers a timely commentary: "The Risen Christ always frees us and opens up horizons of mercy. Whoever believes in him and welcomes him always receives forgiveness as a gift..."
Commenting on the Gospel story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery, Fr. Denis-Marie Ghesquières, OCD writes, "Jesus challenges each one of the onlookers to search his heart and, faced with the woman's sin, to question himself! A new path can open up by setting out from the truth about oneself in the presence of Jesus..."
Faith doesn't lead us to sacrifice our reason; on the contrary, the experience of God elevates it—making it noble, unconstrained, and worthy.
The soul through original sin is a captive in the mortal body, subject to passions and natural appetites; when liberated from this bondage and submission, it considers its escape, in which it is unnoticed, unimpeded, and unapprehended by its passions and appetites, a sheer grace.
Letting ourselves be conquered by the loving gaze of Jesus is the beginning of a new and eternal life.
So that they can find in the captivity of their bodies, freedom for their soul