Tuesday, August 09, 2022

The Silent Working

 Today is the feast of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Martyr, also known as St. Edith Stein.

As were the hearts of the first human beings, so down through the ages again and again human hearts have been struck by the divine ray. Hidden from the whole world, it illuminated and irradiated them, let the hard, encrusted, misshapen matter of these hearts soften, and then with the tender hand of an artist formed them anew into the image of God. Seen by no human eye, this is how living building blocks were and are formed and brought together into a Church first of all invisible. However, the visible Church grows out of this invisible one in ever new, divine deeds and revelations which shed their light in ever new epiphanies. The silent working of the Holy Spirit in the depths of the soul made the patriarchs into friends of God. However, when they came to the point of allowing themselves to be used as his pliant instruments, .he established them in an external visible efficacy as bearers of historical development, and awakened from among them his chosen people...
...The deeper a soul is bound to God, the more completely surrendered to grace, the stronger will be its influence on the form of the church. Conversely, the more an era is engulfed in the night of sin and estrangement from God the more it needs souls united to God. And God does not permit a deficiency. The greatest figures of prophecy and sanctity step forth out of the darkest night. But for the most part the formative stream of the mystical life remains invisible. Certainly the decisive turning points in world history are substantially co-determined by souls whom no history book ever mentions. And we will only find out about those souls to whom we owe the decisive turning points in our personal lives on the day when all that is hidden is revealed.

 [Edith Stein, "The Hidden Life and Epiphany", The Hidden Life, Collected Works of Edith Stein (Volume IV), ed. Dr. L. Gelber and Michael Linssen, O.C.D, ICS Publications (Washington, DC: 1992) pp. 109-110.]

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