For a long while now I have hardly been able to do any work. From the beginning of September until the middle of December, I took care of our good, eldest lay sister, Sr. Clara (cancer of the liver, as far as the doctors can tell). Then I got the office of turn-sister [portress], which means being a contact between the cloister and the outside world. You can imagine that for this one needs a serviceable walking apparatus. I hope to be allowed to make my perpetual profession on April 21. Soon thereafter follows the Veiling Ceremony. That is, again, a big public celebration that the beloved baptismal sponsor [Hedwig Conrad-Martius] should not miss. Hopefully the League of Academics will again cover the cost of travel. We celebrated the 300th Jubilee Year of the Cologne Carmel for four days at the end of September/beginning of October. Our dear Mother <Teresa Renata> wrote a beautiful commemorative booklet for the occasion. I believe you will receive it as a gift when you next visit us.
Do you know that Husserl’s health is very poor? This summer he suffered a severe recurrence of pleurisy and is not recovering well from it. Would you write to him sometime perhaps? They now live in Freiburg-Herdern, at Schöneck 6.
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein
Letter 257 to Hedwig Conrad-Martius, 17 January 1938
Oh! My little Aunts, how happy I am; here I am, the bride of Christ! I would like to speak to you about my profession, but, you see, it is something so divine, earthly language is powerless to repeat it. I had had very beautiful days before, but now I no longer even dare compare them with that day.
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
Letter 154 to her Rolland aunts, 12 January 1903 (or a little after)
Scripture – Wisdom 6:14-16
Get up early in the morning to find her, and you will have no problem; you will find her sitting at your door. To fasten your attention on Wisdom is to gain perfect understanding. If you look for her, you will soon find peace of mind, because she will be looking for those who are worthy of her, and she will find you wherever you are. She is kind and will be with you in your every thought.
Reading – Saint Edith Stein, Letter 309 to Sr. Maria Electa Sommer, O.C.D.
With all my heart I join in the celebration of Your Charity’s big feast. Two years ago [February 11, 1938] Our Lady of Lourdes brought me acceptance for my perpetual profession. So it is a very special day to remember for me, too. We will unite our petitions and our thanks, won’t we? It is a joy for heaven and earth when another soul gives herself completely to the Lord. May our dear Queen of Peace make Your Charity an angel of peace for the beloved Cologne Carmel and for all of troubled humanity.
O Most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel,
Fruitful Vine, Splendor of heaven,
Blessed Mother of the Son of God,
Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity.
O Star of the Sea, help me
and show me herein that you are my Mother.
O Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Queen of heaven and earth,
I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart
to succor me in this necessity.
There are none that can withstand your power!
O help me and show me herein that you are my Mother.
Our Lady, Queen and Beauty of Carmel,
pray for me and obtain my requests!
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands!
Excerpt from Edith Stein's Self-Portrait in Letters, 1916-1942, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Discalced Carmelite, translated by Josephine Koeppel (The Collected Works of Edith Stein, vol. 5) Copyright © 1993 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc. Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC