Her have I loved, and have sought her out from my youth, and have
desired to take her for my spouse, and I became a lover of her
beauty. These words stand written in the Book of Wisdom and are
spoken by the beautiful and all-loving Wisdom.
A Servant was filled with disgust and dejection of heart on his
first setting forth on the uneven ways. Then did the Eternal
Wisdom meet him in a spiritual and ineffable form, and lead him
through bitter and sweet until she brought him to the right path
of divine truth. And after well reflecting on his wonderful
progress, he thus spoke to God; Sweet and tender Lord! from the
days of my childhood my mind has sought for something with burning
thirst, but what it is I have not as yet fully understood. Lord, I
have pursued it ardently many a year, but I never could grasp it,
for I know not what it is, and yet it is something that attracts
my heart and soul, without which I never can attain true rest.
Lord, I sought it in the first days of my childhood, as I saw done
around me, in creatures, but the more I sought it in them the less
I found it, and the nearer I approached them the further I receded
from it, for every image that presented itself to my sight, before
I wholly tried it, or gave myself up quietly to it, warned me away
thus: "I am not what thou seekest!" And this repulsion I have
experienced more and more in all things. Lord, now my heart rages
after it, for my heart would so gladly possess it. Alas! I have so
constantly had to experience what it is not! But what it is, Lord,
I am not as yet clear. Tell me, beloved Lord, what it is indeed,
and what is its nature, that so secretly agitates me.
Answer of Eternal Wisdom.--Dost thou not know it? And yet it has
lovingly embraced thee, has often stopped thee in the way, until
it has at length won thee for itself alone.
The Servant.--Lord, I never saw it; never heard of it: I know not
Eternal Wisdom.--This is not surprising, for its strangeness and
thy familiarity with creatures were the cause. But now open thy
interior eyes and see who I am. It is I, the Eternal Wisdom, who,
with the embrace of My eternal providence, have chosen thee in
eternity for Myself alone. I have barred the way to thee as often
as thou wouldst have parted company with Me, had I permitted thee.
In all things thou didst ever meet with some obstacle and it is
the sweet sign of My elect that I will needs have them for Myself.
The Servant.--Tender loving Wisdom! And is it Thou I have so long
been seeking for? is it Thou my spirit has so constantly struggled
for? Alas, my God, why didst Thou not show Thyself to me long ago?
Why hast Thou delayed so long? How many a weary way have I not
Eternal Wisdom.--Had I done so thou wouldst not have known My
goodness so sensibly as now thou knowest it.
The Servant.--O unfathomable goodness! how very sweetly hast Thou
not manifested Thyself to me! When I was not, Thou gavest me
being. When I had separated from Thee, Thou didst not separate
from me; when I wished to escape from Thee, Thou didst hold me
sweetly captive. Yes, Thou Eternal Wisdom, if my heart might
embrace Thee and consume all my days with Thee in love and praise,
such would be its desire; for truly that man is blest whom Thou
dost anticipate so lovingly that Thou lettest him have nowhere
true rest, till he seeks his rest in Thee alone. O Wisdom Elect!
since in Thee I have found Him whom my soul loveth, despise not
Thy poor creature. See how dumb my heart is to all the world in
joy and sorrow. Lord, is my heart always to be dumb towards Thee?
O give my wretched soul leave, my dearest Lord, to speak a word
with Thee, for my heart is too full to contain itself any longer;
neither has it anyone in all this world to whom it can unburden
itself, except to Thee, my elected Lord, Father, and Brother.
Lord, Thou alone knowest the nature of a love overflowing heart,
and knowest that no one can love what he cannot in any way know.
Therefore, since I am now to love Thee alone, give me to know Thee
entirely, so that I may be also able to love Thee entirely.
Eternal Wisdom.--The highest emanation of all beings, taken in
their natural order, is through the noblest beings to the lowest,
but their refluence to their origin is through the lowest to the
highest. Therefore, if thou art wishful to behold Me in My
uncreated Divinity thou must learn how to know and love Me here in
My suffering humanity for this is the speediest way to eternal
The Servant.--Then let me remind Thee to-day, Lord, of Thy
unfathomable love, when Thou didst incline Thyself from Thy lofty
throne, from the royal seat of the fatherly heart, in misery and
disgrace for three and thirty years, and didst show the love which
Thou hast for me and all mankind, principally in the most bitter
passion of Thy cruel death: Lord, be Thou reminded of this, that
Thou mayest manifest Thyself spiritually to my soul, in that most
sweet and lovely form to which Thy immeasurable love did bring
Eternal Wisdom.--The more mangled, the more deathly I am for love,
the more lovely am I to a well-regulated mind. My unfathomable
love shows itself in the great bitterness of My passion, like the
sun in its brightness, like the fair rose in its perfume, like the
strong fire in its glowing heat. Therefore, hear with devotion how
cruelly I suffered for thee.