Monday, March 02, 2009

Mystic Monday:Marguerete Porete

Today dear Children I want to take us to visit with another of the women's voices from the Middle Ages. This sweet voice is that of Marguerite Porete of France. Her tragic story is that of one who was sadly misunderstood because of her mystical vision. She wrote in a very interesting style, often using a dialogue form where the virtues would chat with one another. I think perhaps that this was what got her in trouble with the powers that be in the church of her day.

Little is known of her life, except what can be gleaned from the record of her trial where she was falsely accused, and sent to her death. Such was that sad time in our history when many men and women lost their lives in the name of the institutional church. The fact that after her death her words lived on is a testament to the Spirit that flowed from them.

Here is a snippet from her most famous work The Mirror of Simple Souls whose central tenet was that annihilation of the will is a form of freedom.

"When I expressed these precious unspeakable things,
I encumbered myself by writing these words.
But thus I took my elan
And by this I was helped
To reach the last stage
Of the estate of which we speak,
Which lies in perfection,
when the soul dwells in pure no-thingness and without thought,
and not before."

Here is another bit from the Mirror for you to ponder:

[A dialogue between Love and the virtues, on the impossibility of
identifying the souls ruled by perfect love:]

"O Holy Trinity," say Faith, Hope, and Charity, "where are there such sublime Souls as this book describes? Who are they, and where are they, and what do they do? Reveal them to us by Love, who knows everything, and so they will be set at rest who, hearing this book, are dismayed. For all Holy Church, if she were to here it read, would be dismayed by it...."

"Truly, this is Holy Church the Less," says Love, "who is ruled by Reason, and not Holy Church the Great..., who is ruled by us."

"Now tell me," says Love to the three divine virtues, "why do you ask us who these
Souls are, and where they are, and what they do?... All three of you know where
they are, for you are with them at every moment of time, for it is you three who
ennoble them. And what they do you also know. But who they are---to speak of
their worth and dignity---neither you nor they know that, and so Holy Church
cannot know it.... That God alone knows...." [ch.19, pp.38-39]


1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Did you know a Father Godfrey??? I think that was his name at St. Meinrad?
He was the speaker and oh my...he was awesome, angelmeg! I could have listened to him easily much longer!
I hope to have him come back again and it would be so nice if he was the celebrant at one of the Youth Masses..the young people that showed up last night really liked him, as well. The house was packed downstairs and Father Bill was thrilled!