Marguerite Porete – “The Mirror of Simple Souls”

Marguerite Porete – Selected Verses from “The Mirror of Simple Souls” – Christian Mystics

0:29 theologians and other clerks you won’t understand this book however bright your wits if you do not meet it humbly and in this way
0:47 love and faith make you surmount reason for they are the protectors of reasons house
1:03 reason you’ll always be half-blind
1:16 love and faith have no shame no honor no fear for what is to come
1:30 they are secure says love
1:35 their doors are open no one can harm them
2:01 now listen reason says love so as to understand better
2:10 a person who is on fire feels no cold
2:17 the person who is drowning knows no thirst
2:26 now this soul says love is so burned in love’s fiery furnace that she has become the very fire
2:42 so that she feels no fire for in herself she is fire
2:54 through the power of love which has changed her into the fire of love
3:06 this fire burns of and through itself everywhere incessantly
3:16 without consuming any matter or being able to wish to consume it
3:24 except only from itself
3:31 for whoever feels some perception of god through matter
3:37 they see or hear outside themselves
3:42 or through some labor which they there perform of themselves
3:49 is not all fire rather there is some matter together with the fire
4:11 for people’s labors and their wanting matter outside themselves to make god’s love grow in them
4:21 is only a blinding of the knowledge of god’s goodness
4:29 but one who burns with this fire without seeking such matter without having it
4:39 or wanting to have it sees all things so clearly that they value them as they must be valued
4:58 for such a soul has no matter in her which prevents her from seeing clearly
5:06 so that she is alone in it through the power of true humility
5:14 and she is common to all through the generosity of perfect charity
5:23 and alone in god since perfect love has taken possession of her
5:52 this soul says love is flayed by mortification and burned by the ardor of the fire of charity
6:06 and her ashes are strewn by the nothingness of her will upon the high seas
6:17 in prosperity she has the nobility of the well-born
6:24 in adversity the nobility of one exalted in all places whatever they be the nobility of the excellent
6:50 she who is such no longer seeks god through penance
6:57 or through any sacrament of holy church not through reflections or words or works
7:08 not through any creature here below or through any creature there above
7:18 not through justice or mercy or the glory of glories
7:27 not through divine knowledge or divine love
7:33 or divine praise
7:55 love says meditation of pure love has only one intention
8:06 that she might always love faithfully
8:11 without wishing for any reward
8:18 and the soul cannot do this unless she is deprived of herself
8:29 for faithful love would not deign to have any consolation which came by the souls seeking
8:37 truly not
8:49 meditation of love knows well that it is for the best that she must not
8:57 exert herself except in what is her task and that is to will perfectly the will of god
9:12 and she leaves god to work and to order god’s will as god pleases
9:27 for whoever wills at god might fulfill wishes to experience their own comforts
9:36 not place their trust solely in god’s goodness but trust rather in those
10:01 and who are you love asks reason are you not also one of the virtues and one of us
10:12 even though you be above us
10:20 i am god says love for love is god and god is love and this soul is god through its condition of love
10:42 and i am god through my divine nature and this soul is god by love’s just law
10:58 so that this my precious beloved is taught and guided by me without herself
11:08 for she has been changed into me
11:16 and this is the outcome says love of being nourished by me
11:40 ah lady soul says reason you have two laws your own and a house
11:53 owls for belief and yours for love and therefore you say to us what you please
12:03 and so you have called those whom we nurture fools and asses
12:20 those whom i call asses says this soul seek god in creatures through worshipping in churches
12:34 in paradises they create in the words of men and in their writings
12:50 it seems to beginners that men such as these who seek god in this way
12:58 uphill and down dale think that god is subject to his sacraments and to his works
13:14 alas they suffer such trials that it is pitiful and they will go on suffering them says the soul
13:25 so long as they maintain this way of life and such practices
13:38 but those people spend their time well and profitably who do not worship god
13:46 only in temples and in churches but worship god everywhere through union with the divine will
14:12 our reason says soul
14:18 how wearisome you are what trouble and what difficulty they suffer who live by your advice
14:31 reason says the soul if i am loved to all eternity by the three persons of the trinity
14:42 i have also been loved by them from all eternity
14:55 for just as in all goodness god will love me to all eternity
15:03 just so i have been known to god’s wisdom as she who would be created by the work of its divine power
15:17 so therefore since from the time that god who is without beginning has existed
15:27 i have been present in the divine knowledge and shall be there without end
15:52 from that time says the soul did god love the work which would be performed in me by its divine power
16:14 foreign
16:32 this soul says love has six wings just as the seraphim
16:42 she no longer wishes for anything which comes by an intermediary for that is the proper state of being of the seraphim
16:55 there is no intermediary between their love and god’s love love is constantly made new in them
17:08 without any intermediaries and so too in this soul
17:17 for she does not seek for knowledge of god among the teachers of this world
17:23 but by truly despising this world and herself
17:36 ah god how great is the difference between the gift that a lover makes to his loved one
17:43 through an intermediary and the gift made directly to his loved one by a lover
18:13 love says this daughter of sion does not long for masses or sermons or fastings or prayers
18:32 and why lady love says reason
18:37 these are the food of holy souls
18:45 that is true says love for those who beg
18:51 but this soul begs for nothing for she has no need to long for anything which is outside her
19:05 now listen reason says love
19:12 why should this soul long for those things which i have just named since god is everywhere
19:22 just as much without them as with them
19:31 this soul has no thought no word no work
19:40 except for employing the grace of the divine trinity
19:48 this soul feels no disquiet for any sins which she once committed
19:58 nor for the suffering which god underwent for her
20:03 nor for the sins and the troubles in which her neighbours live does this mean love says reason
20:24 teach me to understand this since you have reassured me about my other questions
20:36 it means says love that this soul is not her own
20:46 and so she can feel no disquiet
20:54 for her thought is at rest in a place of peace that is in the trinity
21:05 and therefore she cannot move from there nor feel this quiet so long as her beloved is untroubled
21:26 but that anyone falls into sin or that sin was ever committed
21:34 this is displeasing to her will just as it is to god
21:41 for it is his own displeasure which gives such displeasure to this soul
21:52 but nonetheless says love in spite of such displeasure there is no disquiet in the trinity
22:05 nor is there in such a soul who is at rest within the trinity
22:18 but if this soul who was in such exalted rest could help her neighbors
22:27 she would help them in their need with all her might
22:39 but the thoughts of such souls are so divine that they do not dwell upon past all created things so as to apprehend disquiet in themselves
22:58 for god is good beyond all comprehending
23:33 love says so such a soul has no name
23:41 and therefore she has the name of the change into which love has changed her
23:54 so do the watercourses of which we have spoken who were called sea for they are all sea as soon as they have returned into the sea
24:12 for in the same way no kind of fire can keep any matter separate within it
24:20 because it makes of itself and of the matter one thing not two but one
24:39 so it is with those of whom we speak for love draws all their matter into itself
24:53 one and the same thing is made of love and of such souls and not two things
25:04 for that would be disharmony but there is one single thing and so there is harmony
25:34 uh
25:46 love says if anyone were to ask such free souls untroubled and at peace
25:58 if they would want to be in purgatory they would answer no
26:08 if they would want here in this life to be assured of their salvation they would answer no
26:20 if they would want to be in paradise they would answer no
26:30 why would they wish for such things they have no will at all
26:41 and if they wished for anything they would separate themselves from love
26:54 for god who has their will knows what is good for them without their knowing or being assured of it
27:13 such souls live by knowing and loving and praising
27:23 that is the settled practice of such souls
27:28 without any impulse of their own
27:35 for knowledge and love and praise dwell within them
27:56 such souls cannot assess whether they are good or bad and they have no knowledge of themselves
28:06 and would be unable to judge whether they are converted or perverted
28:19 or to speak more briefly let us take one soul to represent them all says love
28:29 this soul neither longs for nor despises poverty or tribulation
28:40 mass or sermon fasting or prayer
28:49 and gives to nature all that it requires with no qualm of conscience
29:02 but this nature is so well ordered through having been transformed in the union with love
29:10 to whom this soul’s will is joined that it never asks anything which is
29:18 forbidden such a soul is not concerned about what it lacks except at the needful time
29:37 and none but the innocent can be without this concern
30:05 reason says for god’s sake what does this mean love
30:16 i’ll tell you in reply reason says love as i have told you before and yet again i tell you
30:26 that every teacher of natural wisdom every teacher of book learning
30:35 everyone who persists in loving their obedience to the virtues
30:42 does not and will not understand this as it should be understood
30:53 be sure of this reason says love for only those understand it who should seek after perfect love
31:13 but if by chance one found such souls they would tell the truth if they wanted to
31:23 yet i do not think that anyone could understand them
31:28 except only those who seek after perfect love and charity
31:42 sometimes says love this gift is given in the twinkling of an eye
31:55 and let those who was given it hold fast to it for it is the most perfect gift which god
32:05 gives to a creature this soul is learning in the school of divine knowledge
32:22 and is seated in the valley of humility and upon the plane of truth
32:34 and is it rest upon the mountain of love
33:03 such a soul says love swims in the sea of joy that is in the sea of delights
33:14 flowing and streaming from the divinity and she feels no joy for she herself is joy
33:34 and so she swims and flows in joy without feeling any joy
33:46 for she dwells in joy and joy dwells in her
33:59 for through the power of joy she is herself joy
34:07 which has changed her into itself now they have one common will like fire and flame
34:28 the will of the lover and that of the beloved
34:36 for love has changed this soul into itself the soul our sweetest pure divine love
34:58 says his soul
35:05 how sweet is this changing by which i am changed into the thing that i love better
35:12 than i love myself and i am so changed that i have therein lost my name for the sake of loving
35:28 i who can love so little and i am changed into that which i love more than myself
35:42 that is into love
35:48 for i love nothing but love
36:04 so
36:19 i have said before says the soul that i lack nothing
36:29 because my beloved has from all time sufficient and will have enough forevermore
36:48 what then should i lack i do not love myself except only for god
37:00 and what god has which i do not have and shall not have is more my own
37:11 than what i do and shall have in my possession from the divine itself
37:49 love says already i have said that such souls value every affliction of their heart
38:00 both for body and for soul as highly as if it were prosperity and prosperity is highly as adversity
38:19 and this is true says love if such things came to them as highly as adversity
38:31 and this is true if such things came to them without their will being the cause
38:42 and also such souls do not know what is better for them
38:48 nor how god wants to provide their salvation nor the salvation of their neighbors
38:59 nor for what reason god wants to show justice or mercy
39:08 nor for what reason god wants to give to the soul the exalted gifts of the goodness
39:16 of god’s divine nobility
39:26 and therefore the soul set free has no will at all to will or not to will
39:40 except only to will the will of god
39:48 and to submit in peace to the divine command
40:08 lady love i ask yet one more question says reason
40:17 why does this book say that this soul has everything and yet has nothing
40:34 that is true says love for through divine grace this soul has god
40:46 and one who has god has everything and it says too that she has nothing
41:01 because everything which this soul has within her from god through the gift of divine grace
41:10 seems nothing to her
41:16 and it is nothing too in comparison with what she loves which is in god
41:31 and which god will not give to anyone except only to itself
41:43 and it is in this sense that this soul has everything
41:51 and yet has nothing
41:59 she knows everything and yet she knows nothing

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