Hadewijch of Antwerp — Clothe Yourselves With Light
Hadewijch of Antwerp — Clothe Yourselves With Light
“When you remove envy from you,
then you will clothe yourselves with Light
and enter the bridal chamber.”
(Yeshua, Dialogue of the Savoir,
Nag Hammadi Library of Egypt)
“May your service of love be a beautiful thing; want nothing else, fear nothing else and let love be free to become what love truly is.” (Hadewijch of Antwerp)
God be with you and give you
True knowledge of the methods of Love;
May he enable you to understand
What the Bride says in the Song of Songs:
I to my Beloved, and my Beloved to me!
If anyone allowed Love to conquer him,
He would then conquer Love completely.
I hope this will be your experience;
…Oh, may you fully grow up according to your dignity, to which you were called by God from all eternity! How can you endure it that God has fruition of you in his Essence, and you do not have fruition of him?
…The souls engulfed in God who are thus lost in him are illuminated on one side by the Light of Love, as the moon receives its light from the sun. The simple knowledge then received by them in this new Light, from which they come and in which they dwell — this simple Light then catches their darker half, so that the two halves of the soul become one; and then there is full Light.
If you had demanded this Light to choose your Beloved, you would be free. For these souls are united and clothed with the same Light with which God clothes himself (Ps. 103:2).
… God is with you.
— Hadewijch of Antwerp — The Complete Works, Paulist Press, The Classics of Western Spirituality
Hadewijch and the Beguines, Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAo_GKLaFTU&ab_channel=stgileschurchoxford
Belonging to the early thirteenth century, Hadewijch brings us a spiritual message of extraordinary power. She was endowed in no less degree than St. Teresa of Avila with the gifts of visionary mysticism and literary genius. She felt herself strongly a woman, as can be seen from her choosing to join the women’s movement of her day, that of the Beguines, who dedicated themselves to a life of true spirituality without taking the veil.
Hadewijch understood that she was called to communicate to others the profound knowledge of the things of God granted to her in her mystical life. She directed her apostolate to some younger Beguines, and early all her writings, both prose and poetry, were intended for them.
From the Spiritual Letters of Hadewijch
Loving God With His Own Love
God be with you! And may he teach you the true ways that belong to high Love.
For your part be vigilant and discerning in what you are doing, attentive to yourselves and your quest, and firm in your faith. Provided you seek in truth — following not your emotional attraction but God’s will — you shall obtain everything for which, in his love, he has destined you.
You must also live in joyful hope and strong confidence that God will allow you to love him with that great love wherewith he loves himself, Three and One, and wherewith he has eternally sufficed to himself and shall so suffice eternally.
In contenting him with that love, all the denizens of heaven are and shall be eternally engaged. This is their occupation, which never comes to an end; and the incompletion of this blissful fruition is yet the sweetest fruition. According to this, men on earth must strive for it with humble hearts and realize that, as regards such great love, and such sublime love, and this never-contented Beloved, they are too small to content him with love. Oh, this never-completed work must stir every noble soul like a storm, causing it to cast aside all superfluity and all that is either unlike or less than that which can content Love.
If two things are to become one, nothing may be between them except the glue wherewith they are united together. That bond of glue is Love, whereby God and the blessed soul are united in one- ness. To this lofty surrender, holy Love at all times exhorts the noble, proud souls who are willing to understand it and cast away all things for the sake of Love, as he himself cast away all when he was sent by his Father, and when he finished the work Love had commanded him to do…
Serving With Wisdom
May God be to you vast and eternal Love, and may he give you the wise life and the excellent virtue through which you may content his holy Love.
Work to this end every moment without sparing. Always be fervent in humility and serve with wisdom. May God be your help and your consolation in your whole being; and may he teach you the veritable virtue by which we render Love the most honor and justice. God must teach you that well-pleasing oneness which he offered to his Father, when as Man he lived for him exclusively and purely. And may he teach you the holy oneness he taught and prescribed for his holy friends, who for the love of God rejected all alien consolation. And may he also make known to you, in truth and reality, that sweet and delightful union the experience of which he still gives to his dear friends who conform to his holy sweet love above all things…
Oh, it is truly fitting, if anyone belongs exclusively to his Beloved, that his Beloved, in return, belong exclusively to him! As the Bride says in the Song of Songs: “My Beloved to me, and I to him!” (Song 2:16). Oh, to whom else should anyone belong exclusively but to his Beloved? For all that anyone does for another, unless as one beloved for the other Beloved, is estranged from Love. But only what comes from the Beloved is sweet and welcomed in all respects.
If you wish to experience this perfection, you must first of all learn to know yourselves: in all your conduct, in your attraction or aversion, in your behavior, in love, in hate, in fidelity, in mistrust, and in all things that befall you. You must examine yourselves as to how you can endure everything disagreeable that happens to you, and how you can bear the loss of what gives you pleasure; for to be robbed of what it gladly receives is indeed the greatest sorrow a young heart can bear. And in everything pleasant that happens to you, examine yourselves as to how you make use of it, and how wise and how moderate you are with regard to it. In all that befalls you, preserve your equanimity in repose or in pain. Continually contemplate with wisdom our Lord’s works; from them you will learn perfection.
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