Thursday, July 26, 2007

Open the Eyes of Our Heart, Lord.

From John Tauler (around 1300-1361), Dominican Sermon 53

“Blest are your eyes because they see”

"Our Lord said: “Many a prophet and many a saint longed to see what you see but did not see it.” We must understand the prophets as being the great, subtle and reasoning minds who hold to the sublety of their natural reason and draw from it emptiness. Those eyes are not happy.

We must understand the kings as being men who are naturally dominant, with strong and powerful energy, who are masters over themselves, their words, their works, their language, and who can do whatever they want when it comes to fasting, vigils and prayers. But they make a big thing of it, as if this were something extraordinary, and they despise the others. These are also not the eyes that see the things that make them happy.

All those people wanted to see and did not see. They wanted to see, and they held on to their own will. Evil resides in the will… Our own will covers our interior eyes like a membrane or a film covers the exterior eye and prevents it from seeing… So long as you stay within your own will, you will be deprived of the joy of seeing with your interior eye.

For all true happiness comes from real abandonment, from being detached from our own will. All that is born in the depth of humility… The more a person is small and humble, the less does he have his own will. When all has been calmed, the soul sees its own essence and all its faculties; it recognizes itself as the rational image of Him from whom it came.

The eyes… that look this far can rightly be called blest because of what they see. What a person discovers then is the marvel of marvels, what is most pure, most sure… May we be able to follow this path and to see in such a way that our eyes might be blest. And may God help us in that!"

2 comments:

Gabrielle said...

Hello, Phil B. I was googling something (about my own blog, can you believe it?), and up I popped here. I had no idea I was on your blogroll. Thank you very much.

And what a lovely surprise that the first thing I see is a beautiful quotation from John Tauler, whom I have wanted to study for years, since I first heard of him through my Merton readings. I can't recall anyone else ever quoting him on the blogs I visit.

Phil B. said...

Tauler was a master mystic- he and Meister Eckhart are both part of a larger community of European Catholic Christians who seem to have "got it." Let me know what you discover about him.