Discover more from My Secret is Mine
Edith Stein's Secret Lover
or, how a convert found the philosopher...
Edith Stein earned a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1916 (summa cum laude, no less), but by 1921 had still not secured an instructor position. Women were not allowed to teach in the university back then. The frustration was compounded during World War I, when a few doors opened tentatively out of necessity.
While visiting a friend in similar straits, Edith happened to read the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila. She began preparation for Christian baptism immediately thereafter. Astounded, her friend, Hedwig Martius-Conrad, asked her what caused her conversion. Edith mysteriously wrote on a piece of paper,
Secretum meum mihi. The rough translation is “My secret is unto me”, or, “My secret is mine.” She never elaborated, although her sainthood vouched for the reality of her secret.
Do you have a similar secret, even in a frustrating life? Could Jesus be your secret love? I move too quickly past Him at times. But Jesus beckons me daily to remember my secret. Once heard, the secret refreshes and soothes me.
For others with true humility, perhaps they tremble with the prospect that the secret would be too much to bear, that they could never give voice to its promptings. And yet recall that it is the special secret of God. He will never ask more than we can give to Him.
Do you marvel at the strength of the women you know? Strangers, some Christian and some not, might observe your struggles today, and say, “I don’t know how you do it.” Are you not sure how you do it either? And honest in your own heart, do you wonder if you can keep doing it?
Our weakness is itself part of the secret. The strength of the woman is surprisingly often found in her endurance, the power to persevere in spite of oppression or misfortune. Edith took hold of that power and ran the race toward her Secret Lover-- we can do no less.
I never tire of learning how the secret is manifest in the lives of my sisters in the faith. Each unique soul shelters a fresh way of thinking about God. Please contact us with ideas or responses - don't be shy about sharing your secrets!
I hope to discover new channels of grace with you as we all share the fruit of the Secret we hold dear. May St. Edith Stein pray for us as we learn the depth of the mystery she joyfully discovered as a young woman.
Peace be with you,