The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart (1901)/Chapter 38

CHAPTER XXXVIII

THE PILGRIM RECEIVES CHRIST AS HIS GUEST

(Our Illumination cometh from on High.)

I now devise of this with myself, and wait what will further befall. And behold, a clear light appeared on high, and raising my eyes towards it, I see the window above me full of brightness, and from out of that brightness there appeared One, in aspect, indeed, similar to a man, but in His splendour truly God. His countenance shone exceedingly, yet could human eyes gaze at it, for it caused not terror; rather had it a loveliness such as I had never seen in the world. He then—kindness itself, friendliness itself—addressed me in these most sweet words:

(Wherein the Source of all Light and all Joy lieth.)

2. "Welcome, welcome, my son and dear brother." And having said these words, He embraced me, and kissed me kindly. There came forth from Him a most delightful odour, and I was seized by such unspeakable delight that tears flowed from my eyes, and I knew not how to respond to so unexpected a greeting. Only sighing deeply, I gazed at Him with meek eyes. Then He, seeing me overwhelmed with joy, spoke thus further to me: "Where, then, has thou been, my son? why hast thou tarried so long? by what path hast thou come? what hast thou sought in the world? Joy! where could thou seek it but in God; and where couldst thou seek God, but in His own temple; and what is the temple of the living God, but the living temple that He Himself has fashioned—thine own heart? I saw, my son, that thou wentest astray, but I would see it no longer. I have brought thee to thy own self. I have led thee into thyself. For here have I chosen my palace and my dwelling. If thou wishest here to dwell with me, thou wilt find here, what thou hast vainly sought on earth, rest, comfort, glory, and abundance of all things. This I promise thee, my son, that thou wilt not be deceived here as thou wert there in the world."

(The Pilgrim gives himself over entirely to Jesus.)

3. Hearing such speech, and understanding that He who spake was my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, of whom I had indeed heard somewhat in the world, but superficially only, I folded my hands, and then stretched them out, not, as in the world, with fear and doubt, but with full happiness and complete faith; then I said: "I am here, my Lord Jesus; take me to Thee. Thine I wish to be, and to remain for ever. Speak to Thy servant, and permit me to hear Thee; tell me what Thou desirest, and grant that I find pleasure in it; lay on me what burden Thou thinkest fit, and grant that I may bear it; employ me for whatever purpose Thou desirest, and grant me that I may not be found wanting; order me to act according to Thy will, and grant me grace to do so. Let me be nothing, that Thou mayest be everything."