Say But the Word

Continuing the theme of the birth of Jesus in our souls as at Bethlehem, here is an excerpt from Meister Eckhart:

…the Father goes on begetting his Son in himself without ceasing, and Father and Son breathe forth with equal power their holy Breath, both Son and Holy Ghost abiding with the Father in the essence, and in the vision of this Trinity of Persons lies the whole happiness of creatures which are able to participate in his divine felicity…. The soul becomes the heavenly habitation of the eternal Deity, and he performs his godly work in her, whence she receives the nectar which is denied to such as have not reached this fiery celestial mind.  For her heavenly Sire begets in her his Son whom she lures out of his Father’s heart, and Father and Son breathe into her their holy Breath, the Son never leaving his Father’s heart but proceeding forth from his Father in such fashion that he ever abides in his Father’s heart.  Thus the Father dwells in the soul; he clasps the soul to his breast, and in this embrace of the Father she conceives within her his Son as a proceeding Person and at the same time is aware of his presence with the Father in his essence…. He can speak but one word, and that Word is eternal:  it is his only-begotten Son.  That is the Word he speaks to the soul, giving birth to his Son in her, and in this birth the Father and Son inspire her with their Holy Ghost which teaches her all things.

Thus the soul gets all things from the Father and has gotten all things in the Son and knows all things in the Holy Ghost and so, possessed of all things, she is resting in God without end.

From:  The Sermons and Collations of Meister Eckhart, Chapter LXVIII [The Powers of the Soul], pgs. 170-171)

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4 Responses

  1. [Thus the soul gets all things from the Father and has gotten all things in the Son and knows all things in the Holy Ghost and so, possessed of all things, she is resting in God without end.]

    Amen. : – )

    I wondered why I suddenly thought to post the Lorica/Breastplate (so Trinitarian!) this morn as “today’s poem for the new year”.. this is why: holy synchronicity. It’s not only how we know we’re on the right path (which for a donkey is the chief mercy), but God cannot bear to leave even our thoughts of Him to be orphans!

  2. I don’t think I know the Lorica/Breastplate, Carol (that’s not the same as St. Patrick’s, I guess?)

    I too love that line you quoted, and the description of the Son ever-proceeding from the Father while always abiding in the Father’s heart…

  3. What a wonderful series of posts, Gabrielle! Thanks for picking up on my own Eckhart passage and directing me here. You’ve been busy with wonderful, nourishing things here – too long since I stopped by. Well, you’re all tucked up safely in my feed reader now, so I shan’t miss any more!

    This is a profound thing Eckhart is saying: “He can speak but one word, and that Word is eternal: it is his only-begotten Son. That is the Word he speaks to the soul, giving birth to his Son in her, and in this birth the Father and Son inspire her with their Holy Ghost which teaches her all things.” The whole theology of the Trinity is right there, in those few words. Glorious stuff, truly.

    Thank you – and Happy New Year, Gabrielle!

  4. Thank you, Mike; Happy New Year to you too! I really enjoyed reading your recent post! I agree with you totally about the part you selected here as being a succinct theology of the Trinity, and I think the first few lines are also: “…the Father goes on begetting his Son in himself without ceasing, and Father and Son breathe forth with equal power their holy Breath, both Son and Holy Ghost abiding with the Father in the essence” ; also it is really very much a description of how contemplative prayer takes place in the soul, isn’t it.

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