Little birds in the nest of our nothingness

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It has been a while since last I posted a text of our Benedictine Teresa of Avila, Mother Mectilde de Bar (1614-1698). While Mectilde de Bar has much in common with the great Spanish Madre -- a plucky zeal for monastic reform, courage in making new foundations, and the sublimest mystical graces -- she also has much in common with Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, the 24 year old Doctor of the Church. Consider, for example, this text from a conference given in 1662 by Mother Mectilde for the 2nd Sunday after Pascha.

Oh . . . what happiness to know Jesus Christ! This knowledge is acquired not by the elevation of our thoughts; some souls use these as wings to fly aloft to God, thinking that by doing this they will lay hold of Him.
No, no! We must, if we would grow strong, remain like little birds, tender and weak, in the nest of our nothingness. Believe in the the gift of divine love that will warm up the heart and make our wings robust to take our flight towards God. One must do like the phoenix, who finds life in his death.

Mother Mectilde's doctrine announces that of Saint Thérèse. We ascend to God not by dint of ascetical exploits or abstruse theological meditations, but by the humility that attracts the condescending and merciful love of God.

2 Comments

Thank you, Father, for this beautiful little gift!

One of my favorite things about reading Mother Mectilde are her many "exclamation points" !!! and the frequent sentences beginning with :
" Hé, quoi ! What is this ! or simply a lone standing : "What ! " ...one senses her great and passionate love of God. She surely must have drawn many , many souls into the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus by her contagious, holy enthousiasm !
AMEN ! But of all the passages from Véritable Esprit, Chapter VIII still stands alone somehow, on the revelation of the God's great desire to unite with humanity in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar... perhaps Father Prior would share further with us on that most blessed chapter?
I was also looking at the 24-point concluding "charter" found in Véritable Esprit (je dois rendre ma copie aux Soeurs de Craon cette semaine...) of the 24 ways in which a soul can unite itself with Jesus in the Host...thinking it would make a wonderful "poster" in your monastery, or in any Perpetual Adoration Chapel in the world !

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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