Friday, August 5, 2011
This Soul... no longer seeks God through penitence, nor through any sacrament of Holy Church; not through thought, nor through words, nor through works; not through creature here below, nor through creature above; not through justice, nor through mercy; not through glory of glory; not through divine understanding, nor though divine love, nor through divine praise.
...Such a Soul neither desires nor despises poverty nor tribulation, neither mass nor sermon, neither fast nor prayer, and gives to Nature all that is necessary, without remorse of conscience. But such nature is so well ordered through the transformation by unity of Love, to whom the will of this Soul is conjoined, that nature demands nothing which is prohibited.
Such a Soul often hears what she hears not,
and often sees what she sees not,
and so often she is there where she is not,
and so often she feels what she feels not.
~ Marguerite Porete
from The Mirror of Simple Souls
On the first of June 1310 at the Place de Grève in Paris, Marguerite Porete was burned at the stake, enduring what the great nineteenth-century historian of the Inquisition, H. C. Lea, called the first formal auto-da-fé in Paris. Condemned as a relapsed heretic, Marguerite accepted her fate calmly and without fear, and she was regarded with great admiration by those who witnessed her death, many of whom burst into tears during the execution. Her condemnation came as the result of her unwillingness to discuss or denounce the teachings found in her great mystical work the Mirror of Simple Souls, which was written in Old French. Although judged heretical, the Mirror was a work of great popularity and influence during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and beyond.