Craig E. Morrison, O.Carm.

We have discovered a recent article by David Brooks on Edith Stein that appeared in the online magazine, Comment. The URL link to this magazine article is below. We wanted to alert the readers of Mount Carmel to this insightful article. David Brooks is a New York Times editorial writer and a political commentator on PBS NewsHour (a news program delivered by the Public Broadcasting Service). He is hardly the person you might expect to be writing about Edith Stein.

Brooks is a bestselling author who has come to write about his own personal growth. His book, The Road to Character (London: Penguin, 2015) examines the lives of several diverse personalities, such as, Dorothy Day, Frances Perkins, George Marshall, George Eliot, Dwight Eisenhower, Saint Augustine and others “who have built a strong inner character, who have achieved a certain depth. In these people, at the end of this struggle, the climb to success has surrendered to the struggle to deepen the soul.” I highly recommend this book for spiritual reading.

His next book is titled, The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life (New York: Random House, 2019). In this volume Brooks is more self-revelatory about his own personal journey. It is a stirring reflection on his quest for a moral life along with several others who join him on this quest. His most recent book was just published a month ago, How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen (London: Penguin, 2023). This book is a helpful guide to anyone seeking to deepen their contemplative life.

Now this New York Times writer has written an article that includes our beloved Edith Stein. He writes that Stein teaches us that “if we are secure in ourselves, we won’t try to mold other people according to our own image but will simply seek to receive and accept others in their deepest essence.”  With Edith Stein he includes Etty Hillesum and Simone Weil:  “As you look deeper into the lives of Hillesum, Stein, and Weil, you begin to appreciate that attention is a moral act, maybe the primary moral act. The quality of attention you bring to the world determines what you see in the world, and ultimately what you do in the world.”

David Brook’s, a gifted writer, is able to communicate deep truths in the simplest terms. In this article his literary art reaches its pinnacle.

Here again is the URL link (but if you google: “David Brooks Comment Edith Stein” you will see the link to this article):