Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Entering the tabernacle of the heart

On this Valentine's Day, I would like to share with you what is perhaps the most beautiful quote I have read about love this past year. The quote is from the fourteenth-century Dominican mystic Johannes Tauler, and it touched me because it made me think about what it means to have a deeper union with God. Somehow Tauler captures how the very emptiness in a lonely heart may become a space where the spirit of Love can enter in:

"There are only some men who are able to consecrate or bless the sacred Body of Jesus, and no one else. In a spiritual manner, however ... a woman can offer this sacrifice just as a man, and whenever she wants, night or day. She needs to penetrate into the Holy of Holies and leave behind anything of the world. She must enter alone, that is to say enter into herself with a recollected spirit, and there, having left outside all things sensible, she must offer to the Father of Heaven for all that she desires and for all her intentions the all-lovable sacrifice, His own beloved Son, with all His works and words, with all His sufferings and holy life. She must, with a great devotion, include in this prayer all men, poor sinners, the just, those imprisoned in purgatory."

Source: Johannes Tauler, quoted in Charles Journet, The Mass: The Presence of the Sacrifice of the Cross, 104-105.

Image: St. Elizabeth of Hungary, window at the Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart. Photo by Father Gregory Gresko OSB.