Having been raised in the fundamentalist Southern Baptist sect of Christianity I was not given a very balanced religious view of sex, and as such you’ll probably see me from time to time trying to work out my own sense of the sacred in sexuality on this blog.
In that vein, I thought I’d share a piece I recently read from St. Teresa of Avila, the brilliant mystic and Carmelite reformer. This passage comes from Daniel Ladinsky’s Love Poems From God.
If The Sun Took You In His ArmsWhen my mouth touched His I became invisible,
the way the earth would if the sun
took it into
The ecstatic death I know. What can touch His exquisite form
is not anything that can
How do we make love to God;
how does the soul make love
How does the soul
make love to
The heart has divine instincts;
it just needs to be turned loose in the sky.
Does not every angel know where
and will beat on His door all night
if it is locked.
Not only does this express the eroticism of Teresa’s mysticism, but the mystic flight from dogma is so well expressed. The heart only needs freedom in order to find the pure Love that is the divine.In another passage made into beautiful poetry by Ladinsky Teresa is feeling herself inadequate and unworth of the Love of the divine. She gives God these words:
I made you, dear, and all I make is perfect.
Please come close, for I
God desires union with us the way we desire union with God and with each other.This is an important lesson to learn, and one that will take much more to internalize.