Light And Cross

Reflections from the 12th Century

St. Anselm's Medieval Mysticism

Spiritual Experiences from the 12th Century


My soul, have you found what you are looking for? You were looking for God, and you have discovered that he is the Supreme Being, and that you could not possibly imagine anything more perfect. You have discovered that this supreme being is life itself, light, wisdom, goodness, eternal blessedness and blessed eternity. He is everywhere, and he is timeless…

Surely, Lord, inaccessible light is your dwelling place.... If I fail to see this light it is because it is too bright for me.  I am unable to look straight at the sun.  The light in which you dwell, Lord, is beyond my understanding. It is so brilliant that I cannot bear it, I cannot turn my mind’s eye toward it for any length of time. I am dazzled by its brightness, amazed by its grandeur, overwhelmed by its immensity, bewildered by its abundance.

O supreme and inaccessible light, O complete and blessed truth, how far you are from me, even though I am so near to you! How remote you are from my sight, even though I am present to yours! You are everywhere… and yet I do not see you.  In you I move and have my being.   Yet I cannot approach you.   You are within me and around me, and yet I do not perceive you.  O God, let me know you and love you so that I may find my joy in you.  If I cannot do so fully in this life, let me at least make some progress every day…  While I am here on earth let me learn to know you better, so that in heaven I may know you fully.  Let my love for you grow deeper here, so that there I may love you fully…

O Lord, through your Son…you counsel us to ask, and you promise that you will hear us so that our joy may be complete. Lord, I am making the request that you urge us to make through your Wonder-Counselor. Give me then what you promise to give through your Truth. You, O God, are faithful.   Grant that I may receive my request, so that my joy may be complete.  Amen.


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