Mechthild of Magdeburg: Visions of God

Mechthild of Magdeburg’s ideas are inspiring in their own right, but are all the more amazing considering the era she lived in (1207-1282) – a time from which women’s voices are mostly lost in the mists of time.


Mt. Shuksan, Washington State

1
Lord, you are my lover,
My longing,
My flowing stream,
My sun,
And I am your reflection.

2
The day
of my spiritual awakening
was the day I saw—
and knew I saw—
all things in God
and God in all things.

3
Love your fellow beings—
for they are all
tabernacles of God.

4
Of all that God has shown me,
I can speak just the smallest word,
not more than a honeybee takes on her foot
from an overspilling jar.

5
In the fire of creation,
gold does not vanish,
the fire brightens.
Each creature God made
must live in its own true nature,
how could I resist my nature,
that lives for oneness with God?

6
The Holy Spirit is our Harpist;
all strings which are touched in Love, must sound.

7
I cannot dance, Lord, 
unless you lead me.
If you want me to leap with abandon,
You must intone the song.
Then I shall leap into love,
From love into knowledge,
From knowledge into enjoyment,
And from enjoyment 
beyond all human sensations.
There I want to remain,
yet want also to circle higher still.

8
I who am Divine am truly in you.
I can never be sundered from you:
However far we be parted,
never can we be separated.
I am in you and you are in Me.
We could not be any closer.
We two are fused into one,
poured into a single mould.
Thus, unwearied,
we shall remain forever.

9
I, God, am your playmate!
I will lead the child in you in wonderful ways
for I have chosen you.
Beloved child, come swiftly to Me
for I am truly in you.
Then I shall leap into love.

10
How should one live?
Live welcoming to all.

11
When are we like God? I will tell you.
In so far as we love compassion and practice it steadfastly,
to that extent do we resemble the heavenly Creator
who practices these things ceaselessly in us.

12
I who am Divine am truly in you.
I can never be sundered from you:
However far we be parted, never can we be separated.
I am in you and you are in Me.
We could not be any closer.
We two are fused into one, poured into a single mould.
Thus, unwearied, we shall remain forever.

13
O you pouring God in your gift!
O you flowing God in your love!
O you burning God in your desire!
O you melting God in the union with your beloved!
O you resting God on my breasts!
Without you I cannot exist.

14
Do not fear your death.
For when that moment arrives,
I will draw my breath
and your soul will come to Me
like a needle to a magnet.

____________

ABOUT MECHTHILD OF MAGDEBURG:  “Mechthild of Magdeburg  lived and worked for about 40 years as a Beguine in Magdeburg. She was born in a castle near a city, joined the Medieval Poverty Movement at the age of 20, and consequently chose the ‘descent’ from the castle, where she grew up, to live in the city. Up to today she is famous for her book “The Flowing Light of the Godhead” that she wrote in Middle Low German, the vernacular and the language of the poor. Her writings unite bridal mysticism of the song of the songs in the Old Testament with poetry of the courtly love lyric, creating a new poetry which reveals comprehensibly her immediate experience of God.”   http://mechthild-von-magdeburg.de/englisch/biographie.htm

Sources:

1.  Divine Sparks: Collected Wisdom of the Heart, ed. Karen Speerstra (Sandpoint, Idaho: Morning Light Press, 2005)

2.  Mechthild of Magdeburg, The Flowing Light of the Godhead, tr. Frank Tobin (Mahwah, NJ, Paulist Press, 1997).

3.  Meditations from Mechthild of Magdeburg, ed. Sue Woodruff (Bear & Co., 1982)

4.  http://www.beliefnet.com/Quotes/Christian/M/Mechtild-Of-Magdeburg/Justice-Demands-That-We-Seek-And-Find-The-Stranger.aspx#ixzz1zr9eKpAV

5.  http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/1260765.Mechthild_of_Magdeburg

6.  http://www.anandavala.info/TASTMOTNOR/TCOTCC.html

7.  http://deepwellswithglennmyers.blogspot.com/2011/04/beguine-classics-mechthild-of-magdeburg.html

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