Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Saint Gertrude the Great

Gertrude was wont to say that as long as she kept them for herself and her own enjoyment, all the things that she, unworthy and ungrateful, received unmerited from the overflowing goodness of the Lord seemed to her like treasures hidden in muck. However, if she shared them with a neighbor, these favors became like a precious stone set in pure gold.

Gertrude firmly believed that everything, external or internal, worked together for her good.

The Lord told Mechtild in prayer: "The patientia (patience) that I like in Gertrude comes from the words pax (peace) and scientia (knowledge). The fervor of her patience should be such that in adversity she does not lose her peace of heart, but always strives to think why she is suffering — namely, out of love as a sign of true faithfulness.

Ah, that my soul may choose to know nothing apart from you, and that, tutored by your grace and instructed by your anointing, I may progress well, passionately, and powerfully in the school of your love.

Let the depth of your charity absorb me. Let me be submerged into the abyss of the ocean of your most indulgent devotion. Let me perish in the deluge of your living love just as a drop perishes in the depth of the ocean's fullness. Let me die, let me die in the torrent of your immense mercy, just as the spark of fire dies in the stream's strongest current. Let the raindrops of your love envelop me. Let the cup of your love carry away my life. Let the secret counsel of your most wise love effect and perfect my glorious death in life-sustaining love. There, there, I will lose my life in you where you live eternally, O my love, God of my life. Amen.

Quotes from Monastic Wisdom by Hugh Feiss (which in turn got the passages from The Herald of Divine Love and Gertrude's Spiritual Exercises); icon from the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Cottonwood, Idaho. For more info, try here or here (or google her, why not?). Major Benedictine saint and patron of the 16-member Federation to which my monastery belongs. Oh yeah, and did I mention that today is her feast?


Blogger Lorem ipsum said...

My somewhat nutty aunt is fanatical about every saint's feast day. You throw out a date, and she'll say, 'That's a very blessed day! It's the feast of St. ________, she was _______ and very special to Our Lord.' I generally avoid talking to her, but yesterday was her birthday, and she brought up St. Gertrude. And despite all my aunt's ramblings, your post told me more about Gertrude than my aunt did in 31 minutes.

Just one thing: Who was Mechtild?

11/17/2005 11:18 AM  
Blogger AveMaria1 said...

This was an awesome post, thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks

11/19/2005 1:30 PM  

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