Monday, July 27, 2009

My Beloved is Mine, and I am His

The love of a saint for Christ is an ardent love, says Edward Taylor in his Meditation 96 on Canticles 1.2 ("Let Him Kiss Me With the Kisses of His Mouth"):

Shall Christ bestow his lovely Love on his,
And mask his face? allowing not a kiss?

Shall ardent love to Christ enfire the Heart?
Shall hearty love in Christ embrace the Soule?

It is a desire to be taken completely by the Lord Jesus, like a lover, says John Donne, Holy Sonnet 14 ("Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God"):

...for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

And it manifests itself with overflowing adoration in the sweet sighs of the smitten, says Willem (Guiljelmus or Guilielmus) Saldenus (Dutch Puritan, 1627-1694), De Wech des Levens, p. 398, as quoted and translated by Arie de Reuver, Sweet Communion: Trajectories of Spirituality from the Middle Ages through the Further Reformation, p. 214:

O! To be able to wrap sweet Jesus in my arms, to be able to kiss him, to be enveloped in return by all the flames of his love, and to be addressed by him with names like 'my dearest,' 'my beloved,' 'my beauty,' 'my dove,' 'my sister who has stolen my heart' and to see his smile -- who upon considering these things would not be inflamed at the thought of being able to enjoy these expressions of the Lord's love?

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