Mechthild of Magdeburg (1210-1282)
|"I CANNOT DANCE, LORD, UNLESS YOU LEAD ME."
Most of what is known of Mechthild of Magdeburg comes from her book: references to court custom and courtly literature suggest she was from an educated family, as does the fact that she could read and write German (although she tells us that she does not know Latin). She had at least one brother who became a Dominican. In her early 20s, she left her home to go to Magdeburg (on the Elbe River); she appears to have lived most of her life there as a beguine, apparently in a community, perhaps as a superior. Near the end of her life, about 1270, she entered a monastery at Helfta which followed Cistercian custom.
| God Asks the Soul What It Brings
God: What do you bring Me, My Queen?
Soul: Lord, I bring You my precious treasure; It is greater than the mountains,
Wider than the world, Deeper than the sea, Higher than the clouds, More glorious
than the sun, more numerous than the sun, more numerous than the stars,
it outweighs the entire earth!
God: O you, the image of My Divine likeness, made noble by My humanity, adorned
by My Holy Spirit, what do you call this precious treasure?
Soul: O Lord, I call it my heart's desire!
I have kept it away from worldly things,
I have denied others and myself my heart's desire.
Now I can no longer carry it. Where, O Lord, shall I lay it?
God: You shall place your heart's desire nowhere but in My own Divine Heart and
on my human breast. There alone you will find comfort and My Spirit will
|In Suffering You Will Be as a Lamb, a Dove, and a Bride
You are My lamb in your sufferings,
My dove in your sighings
And My bride in your waiting.
|Pray That God love You Often and Long, So You Shall
Become Pure and Beautiful and Holy
Ah, Lord, love me passionately, love me often, love me long. For the more continuously
You love me, the purer I will be; the more fervently You love me, the more beautiful
I will be; the longer You love me, the holier I will become here on earth.
|The Desert Has Twelve Things
You shall love nothingness,
You shall flee the self,
You shall stand alone,
Seeking help from no one,
So your being may be quiet,
And not bound by any thing,
You shall give liberty to the captives,
And encourage those who are free,
You shall care for the sick,
Even though you dwell alone,
You shall drink the waters of sorrow,
And kindle love's fire
with the kindling of virture --
This is the way you shall live in the desert.
|How God Answers The Soul
Because I Myself am Love, I will love you continuously.
Because I long to be loved passionately, My desire is to love you fervently.
Because I am everlasting and eternal, I will love you long.