Berndnaut Smilde Cumulus II 2012From Wendy Farley’s The Thirst for God: Contemplating God’s Love with Three Women Mystics [speaking here of the medieval mystic Mechtild of Magdeburg]: “Theologians try to express the gap between human words and the mysterious transcendence of God as “Wholly Other” (Barth), the Good beyond Being (Pseudo-Dionysius), darkness and nothingness (John of the Cross). We cannot know what God is; we can only know what God is not (Thomas Aquinas). Mechthild’s superabundance of intense imagery explodes the ability to cling to literal pictures. She insists that we “should love what is not, and we should flee what is.” That is, all of our images drawn from “what is” are less than the reality of God. If we attach to them, we are constrained by images drawn from creation that will always be inferior to the reality of the divine life.”



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