Mechthild von Helfta.jpg

“Then shall I leap into love”

I cannot dance, Lord, unless you
lead me.

If you want me to leap with abandon,

You must intone the song.

Then I
shall leap into love, From love into knowledge,

From knowledge into enjoyment,

And from enjoyment beyond all
human sensations.

There I want to remain, yet want also to circle higher still.

According to some scholars, this Cistercian-Benedictine nun and poet, theologian and mystic was the inspiration of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Interesting that her liturgical memorial comes at the end of the liturgical calendar given her visions of heaven, hell and purgatory! Some people register a doubt about her status as a canonized saint in the Church but she is remembered in the Roman Martyrology (2004) and venerated as such by many, including the Cistercian-Benedictines and that’s good enough for me. The Martyrology speaks of Saint Mechtild as a woman of exquiste doctrine and humility, and supernatural gifts of mystical contemplation.

The prayer for Saint Mechtild may be found here and her biography here.