I believe that thou dost not know the German tongue, and no wonder since thou hast never been in German territory.

In this world there is no idiom used except that based on material things, for “he who is of the earth speaks of the earth”.

Do thou therefore, dearest, keep living in the heavens with holy desires, if thou wishest to learn its idiom in order to understand whenever thou shalt turn to a book written on spiritual subjects or to a preacher speaking on spiritual matters.

He who had never been in the realm of the angels would not understand them.

It is not unknown to thee that man is composed of two parts, a body and a soul. The body, as thou knowest, does not cease to satisfy its desires for corporal things lest it perish of hunger. But the soul is of greater value than the body.

Therefore deliver not up thy soul to thy body, dearest, but lift it up at times to the spiritual realm in order that it may obtain for itself a food that it does not find on earth, a food bought not with money but by holy desires.

Who would be so foolish as to die of hunger for lack of a food obtainable by desires alone? Say with the Prophet: “My eyes are always upon the Lord as the eyes of a poor man are upon the rich from whom with great desire he awaits an alms”.

From the flowers of the earth bees collect an earthly honey and, solicitous for their future they bring it when collected to their hive.

Thy spirit will die unless refreshed with spiritual honey, for I know that it is delicate and disdains to use coarse nourishment.

Do thou therefore, dearest, “send forth thy spirit” in order that it may gather the honey by which it lives.

In the gathering, however, let not all the honey be consumed but let some be stored in the recesses of the heart so that, if ever thy spirit tire of desiring, it may find at home within itself something by which it can be delighted.

And, dearest, when thou shalt find thyself blessed in such desires, be not unmindful of the poor man writing to thee.

Jordan of Saxony (c.1190-1237): Letter 1 to Diana of Andalo.