The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart (1901)/Chapter 54

CHAPTER LIV

THE END OF ALL

Then the vision vanished from mine eyes, and falling on my knees, I raised my eyes upward towards my Redeemer and thanked Him as well as I knew, saying:

"Be Thou blessed, my Lord and God, Thou who art worthy of eternal praise and fame, and blessed be Thy revered and glorious name in all eternity. May Thy angels glorify Thee, and all the saints proclaim Thy praise. For Thou art great in Thy might, and Thy wisdom is unfathomable, and Thy mercy is greater than all Thy works. I will glorify Thee, O Lord, as long as I live, and sing of Thy holy name as long as I exist. For Thou hast cheered me with Thy mercy and filled my mouth with rejoicings. Thou hast snatched me from violent torrents, and saved me from deep whirlpools, and placed my feet on safe ground. I was distant from Thee, O God, and eternal sweetness, but Thou hast had mercy upon me, and hast come here unto me. I erred, but Thou didst admonish me. I wandered about, knowing not whither to go, but Thou didst lead me on the right path. I had gone astray from Thee and lost both Thee and myself, but appearing to me, Thou broughtest me back to myself. I had gone as far as the bitterness of hell, but Thou, tearing me back, hast led me to the sweetness of heaven. Therefore may my soul bless its Lord, and my whole innermost mind praise His holy name. My heart is ready, my heart is ready; I will sing and rejoice in Thee. For Thou art higher than all height and deeper than all depth, wonderful, glorious, and full of mercy. Woe to the foolish souls who leave Thee and think that they will find solace elsewhere, for it exists but in Thee. Neither the earth nor the abyss have it. There in Thee alone is there eternal rest. Heaven and earth are Thy works, and they are good and beautiful and desirable, because they are Thy works. Yet are they not as good, as beautiful, as desirable as Thou, their Creator. Therefore can they not entirely fill up and satiate the spirits that seek solace. Thou art, O Lord, the plenitude of plenitudes! Late became I enamoured of Thee, O Eternal Beauty, for late did I know Thee. But I know Thee when Thou gleamest on me, O Heavenly Light! Let him refrain from Thy praise who knows not Thy mercy. But may my innermost mind profess the Lord. Oh, who will grant it to me, that my heart be intoxicated by Thee, O Eternal Odour, that I may forget everything that is not Thee, O my God? Conceal Thyself no longer from my heart, O most beauteous of beauties! If worldly things obscure Thee to me, I die. May I but behold Thee, be with Thee, never lose Thee again! Uphold me, O Lord, guide me, support me, that I may not stray from Thee and slip! Grant that I may love Thee with an eternal love, and that I may love besides Thee no other things, except for Thy sake, and in Thee, O Infinitive Love! But what more should I say, O my Lord? I am here; I am Thine. I am Thine own; I am Thine for ever. I renounce heaven and earth that I may have Thee. Do not withdraw Thyself from me. I have enough that is unchangeable through all eternity; I have enough in Thee alone. My soul and my body rejoice in Thee, the living God. When, then, shall I come to Thee, and appear before Thy countenance? When Thou wishest, O my Lord God, take me! I am here; I am ready. Call me when Thou wilt, where Thou wilt, how Thou wilt, I will go whither Thou orderest; I will do that which Thou dost command. May but Thy good spirit direct me and lead me through the snares of the world as through an even country, and may Thy mercy guide me on my way, and lead me through the—alas!—doleful darkness of the world to eternal light!

"Amen and Amen."

"Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra Pax
Hominibus bonæ Voluntatis."

THE END


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