Monday, August 09, 2021

The Spiritual Wanderer's Frame of Mind

 Today is the feast of St. Teresa Benedicta a Cruce, Martyr, also known as St. Edith Stein, who died in a gas chamber at Auschwitz on or around August 9, 1942.

From one of her letters, to fellow philosopher Walter Warnach, who had sent her some poems:

Your verses require no apology for being either too harsh or too gloomy. It is probably a sign of your great sensibility that you yourself consider them that way. Of course, they are not easily accessible. I can't say that even I can understand every word. But I believe I can understand something of the spiritual wanderer's frame of mind out of which they were composed. And I believe the closer he comes to the summit the better able he will be to make himself understood. In places, he is already managing it. Perfect poetry is--I believe--like perfect wisdom and sanctity, unpretentious and transparently clear.
[Edith Stein, Self-Portrait in Letters 1916-1942, Letter #267, Koeppel, tr. ICS Publications (Washington DC: 1993) p. 279.]

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