To understand Stein’s answers we first need to know the questions

“The soul has typical qualities, such as a ‘woman’s soul,’ a ‘child’s soul,’ or souls of whatever other ‘type.’ And as individual the soul is ‘itself’ in its inexpressible peculiarity. These are not all in the soul beside one another as separable parts; they are rather in one another as realiter [really] inseparable species and genus, for the genus can exist only as specified.”

— Potency and Act (The Collected Works of Edith Stein) by Edith Stein

Edith Stein answers the most subtle questions, questions whose subtlety and importance dissipate and are lost in the cacophony of the noise of the world. In the world, irrelevant, competing, and distracting communication drowns out the quiet life-giving voice inside of us. We grow spiritually in quiet contemplation of profound questions, thus the need for solitude and retreat from the world. Edith Stein is our philosophical mentor but can be only in this solitude. She answers questions that we do not even hear in the midst of a vain and noisy world.

We struggle to understand her answers because we rarely retreat in solitude to listen quietly for the question.

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