SEVEN BEAMS FROM A PENTECOST NOVENA.
Who are You, sweet light that fills me
And illumines the darkness of my heart?
You guide me like a mother’s hand,
And if You let me go, I could not take
You are the space
That surrounds and contains my being.
Without You it would sink into the abyss
Of nothingness from which You raised it into being.
You, closer to me than I to myself,
More inward than my innermost being–
And yet unreachable, untouchable,
And bursting the confines of any name:
Are You not the sweet manna
Which flows from the heart of the Son
Food for angels and for the blessed?
He who from death to life arose,
Has awakened me, too, to new life,
From the sleep of death,
New life he gives me day by day.
Some day his abundance will completely flow through me,
Life of Your life — yes, You Yourself:
Are You the ray
That flashes from the Eternal Judge’s throne
To pierce into the night of my soul,
Which never knew itself?
Merciful, yet unrelenting, it penetrates the hidden crevices.
The soul takes fright at sight of her own self,
Makes room for holy awe,
For the beginning of that wisdom
Descending from on high,
And anchoring us securely in the heights, —
For Your workings, which create us anew:
Are You the wealth of spirit and of power
By which the Lamb loosens the seals
From God’s eternal decree?
Driven by You the messengers of judgment
Ride through the world
And with sharp sword divide
The reign of light from the reign of night.
Then the Heavens are renewed, and new the earth,
And through Your breath
Everything finds its rightful place:
Are You the master who builds the eternal dome
Rising from earth and through to very Heaven?
The columns, enlivened by You, rise high
And stand firm, immovable.
Marked with the eternal name of God,
They reach high up into the light,
Bearing the cupola, which crowns the holy dome,
Your work encompassing the universe,
God’s shaping hand.
Are You the one who made the mirror bright,
Which stands beside the throne of the Almighty
Just like a sea of crystal
Wherein the Godhead views Himself with love?
You bend o’er the most marvelous of Your creations
And beaming shines Your splendor back to you.
The pure beauty of all beings
United in the lovely form of
The virgin, Your flawless bride:
Creator of the World.
Are You the sweet song of love, and of holy awe,
Resounding ever round God’s throne triune,
Which unifies the pure tone of all beings,
The harmony which fits the limbs to the head,
So that each blissfully finds the secret meaning
Of His being,
And exudes it with gladness freely dissolved
In Your streams:
Susanne M. Batzdorff, ed. Edith Stein Selected Writings. Springfield IL: Templegate, 1990. “Seven Beams from a Pentecost Novena,” pp. 93-101
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