|Thank you, Edith Stein. You are a true friend.|
My "on-this-day" feature revealed that I posted this quotation by Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) two years ago. It's from one of her letters. I don't have the citation, but it was clearly addressed personally to a friend and perhaps a colleague.
I feel like these words were addressed directly to me.
In fact, I have the first sentence of it printed and posted at my bedside. How very often -- when I am praying or searching or ruminating (or some combination of the three) -- these words remind me of who I really am and where I must place my hope:
"Become like a child, and lay your life with all the searching and ruminating into the Father's hand."
But I had forgotten about the second sentence. Right now, when I am feeling old and tired and proud and selfish, here is Edith Stein speaking to me again:
"If that cannot yet be achieved, then plead; plead with the unknown and doubted God for help in reaching it."
She encourages me to plead for help to "the unknown and doubted God." My "doubts" are not intellectual; rather this word signifies for me the struggle to trust in a Mystery that seems so immense and so incomprehensible.
All my years of searching and ruminating seem like playing games. All my words are just not enough.... The great question: "Why?" It is only more urgent and more poignant, more like a wound, vulnerable and broken and aching. This is a longing that runs through me and all the earth, and it exposes my total weakness.
I believe, I hope, I love, I trust in Jesus. I pray. But as Msgr. Giussani always reminds us, Jesus does not take away the Mystery. Rather, in Him the Mystery draws close to the heart of our lives.
Lord, I don't understand. I am overwhelmed! Help me! I am still trying to begin, still looking for the first step, still pleading and begging.