Thursday, August 27, 2009

Woman, Grace and an Alter Christus

Edith Stein in her Essays on Woman was concerned with women's education. Seeing that women just as men are individuals , she insisted that individuality be taken into consideration in educational work. Keep in mind that in speaking of education she is speaking of formation, the formation of the person. As human beings, men and women are given a common goal which is "to be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect." For this educational goal our eyes are to look on Jesus Christ. "To become His likeness is everyone's goal. To be formed to this through Christ Himself is the path for us all as members bound to Him as head."

"Whoever relinquishes himself unconditionally to this formation, not only will nature in its purity be restored in him but he will grow beyond nature and become an other Christ."

Since her interest was on woman she drew for us a picture of woman's soul that would correspond to the eternal vocation of woman. She termed the attributes of woman's soul as expansive, quiet, empty of self, warm and clear.

"Now I am asked to say something regarding how one might come to possess these qualities. I believe that it is not a matter of a multiplicity of attributes which we can tackle and acquire individually; it is rather a single total condition of the soul, a condition which is envisaged here in these attributes from various aspects. We are not able to attain this condition by willing it, it must be effected through grace. What we can and must do is open ourselves to grace; that means to renounce our own will completely and to give it captive to the divine will, to lay our whole soul, ready for reception and formation, into God's hands."

(Essays on Woman, Edith Stein) St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

1 comment:

  1. Oh, what beautiful thoughts from St. Teresa Benedicta- how many women do not know the beauty of their very own souls?