Edith Stein believed that before we can carry out our specific roles and fulfill our God-given vocations, we need to “first become a person!... Before a woman can become wife and mother in a positive way, she must first mature in her own self-possession. Although woman longs to love and receive love, she must also become strong enough to be a true gift to another.”

It seems to me that this statement is a clarion call for our times: Woman, know thyself. One biographer of Edith said it another way: “Before they can be ready to assist others, women first need to be securely anchored in their own depths.” Because the very essence of our vocation as women is self-donation, the truth is clear that we cannot give away what we do not possess. What we need to possess is an inherent and soul-deep understanding of our dignity and worth as women in the eyes of God. We are not simply speaking of a psychological acceptance, but of a spiritual maturity that blossoms and bears fruit through the contemplation of our vocation as women as an outpouring of our intimate, loving relationship with Jesus Christ.

—from the book Embracing Edith Stein: Wisdom for Women from St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross