I first fell in love with the writings of St. Edith Stein (aka St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) when I was in grad school and read her Essays on Woman with some girlfriends during Lent (See? Told you I was a nerd.). I decided to re-read the essays a few months ago and was struck by one section in particular on the soul of woman. The prayer below was inspired by her reflections.
A Woman's Prayer
Please help me become the woman you created me to be. Expand my soul so that nothing human is alien to me. Prompt me to search for and bring home the hidden treasures and burdens which rest in every human soul. Send me to the souls who most need what you have given me.
Quiet my soul, so that no weak flame of faith, hope, or charity may be extinguished by stormy winds. Let my soul be a place where the weak and suffering may find refuge and solace.
Make my soul warm with the heavenly fire of your divine love. Consume and purify the worldly, chaotic fire within me so that I may be a clear sign of your love in the world. With clarity, grant me simplicity of heart that with Mary, I will always choose the better part, which will not be taken from me.
Empty me of my agitated, unredeemed self, so that I may have room in my heart for others. Help me to remember that you are the only one who is capable of receiving me completely so that I may joyfully surrender to you.
Give me the grace to be self-contained, to be mistress of myself as the handmaid of the Lord, prepared to serve all whom you desire me to serve, and to submit to the authorities you have placed over me.
Above all, help me to realize that my natural desire to give myself completely to someone can only be fulfilled in relationship with you.
St. Edith Stein, pray for us.