One of my Christmas gifts from my husband is a wonderful book edited by Jane Hirschfield titled, Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women. The women whose work is included in the book span several thousand years (the earliest is a hymn by Edheduanna, the earliest identified author of either gender in world literature, who lived around 2300 B.C.E.) and include women from many religious traditions.
Thus far, I’ve done little more than randomly skim through the pages. But one of the pieces that leaped out at me was a short poem by Mechtild of Magdeburg, who at the age of twelve first saw “all things in God, and God in all things.” The poem is titled How God Answers the Soul.
It is my nature that makes me love you often,
For I am love itself.
It is my longing that makes me love you intensely,
For I yearn to be loved from the heart.
It is my eternity that makes me love you long,
For I have no end.
Sit with that one for a while, letting God speak the words directly to you.