John Tauler: “Today Salvation has Come to This House” Wednesday, Oct 24 2012 

“It is fitting that I stay in your house”….

On this feast of the Dedication of a Church we read about Zacchaeus who greatly desired to see the Lord but was unable to do so because he was short in stature. So he climbed a sycamore tree.

Similarly someone may desire to view more closely the one who has stirred up these inner wonders and powerful feelings, but because of short stature is unable to do so.

What, therefore, should be done? Surely that person should climb a sycamore tree – that is, put into practice…the mortification of the senses and our human nature.

Thus, one lives in that interior self with whom God walks….

Among the wise of this world such conduct is reputed to be the greatest foolishness that they have ever heard. But consider it certain, most dear ones, that this is the foolishness that God prefers.

Listen to the Lord who says: I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have

hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to children.

But to Zacchaeus already lodged in the tree let us see what the Lord will say. He says,

Zacchaeus, hurry down.

So now, by all means, you should come down here; that is, from all these things do not keep even a tiny bit for yourself, but come down to your barest nothingness, possess nothing, and consider nothing as your own.

Christ adds: Today I must stay at your house, for that is the one thing necessary for me.

If perchance someone has already climbed into the tree and perceived a certain glimmer of truth, but has not possessed it or properly grasped it, it may be that such a person may yet have a natural inclination toward or an adhesion to that same truth.

Both nature and grace together might yet operate within that person, even though a true spirit of resignation has not been attained.

Truly, whatever operates by nature always has a certain stain and is not perfectly pure.

For this reason God bids Zacchaeus to come down, that is, to deny, lose, to leave behind and to mortify his nature in all those ways by which he might cling to a spirit of ownership.

Christ said: Today I must stay at your house. This “today” means eternity.

Thus, he later adds: Today salvation has come to this house, a salvation bestowed on all of us by the kindness and mercy of our Creator, who is blessed for all ages.

John Tauler (c.1300-1361): Sermon for the Feast of the Dedication of a Church from the Supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours for the Order of Preachers.

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John Tauler: “When the Spirit Looks Within, to the Spirit of God, from the Ground of the Heart” Saturday, Apr 16 2011 

St Thomas Aquinas says this: “Great external works, however great they may be, inasmuch as they are works, have their own reward.

But when the Spirit looks within, to the Spirit of God, from the ground of the heart,

where man, empty and bare of all works, seeks God only,

far above all thoughts, works and reason,

it is truly a thorough conversion, which will ever be met with a corresponding reward,

and God will be with him.”

Another conversion may take place in an ordinary external way, whenever man turns to God,

thinking wholly and entirely of Him,

and of nothing else but of God for Himself and in Himself.

But the first turning is in an inner, undefined, unknown presence,

in an immaterial entrance of the created spirit into the uncreated Spirit of God.

If a man could only once in his life thus turn to God, it would be well for him.

Those men whose God is so powerful, and Who has been so faithful to them in all their distress, will be answered by God with Himself.

He draws them so mysteriously unto Himself and His own blessedness;

their spirits are so lovingly attracted, while they are at the same time so filled and transfused with the Godhead, that they lose all their diversity in the Unity of the Godhead.

These are they to whom God makes their work here on earth a delight;

so that they have a real foretaste of that which they will enjoy forever.

These are they on whom the Holy Christian Church rests;

and, if they did not form part of Christianity, Christianity could no longer exist;

for their mere existence, what they are, is infinitely worthier and more useful than all the doings of the world.

These are they of whom our Lord has said:

“He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of Mine eye.”

Therefore, take heed that ye do them no wrong. May God help us.

John Tauler (c.1300-1361): Sermon on the Feast of St John the Baptist.

John Tauler: Consider, My Soul, with Thy Inward Eyes, the Immense Love of Thy Saviour Monday, Apr 4 2011 

Consider now, O my soul, with thy inward eyes, the immense love of thy Saviour.

See how above measure He thirsteth to redeem thee.

Look how His Heart is boiling over within Him for exceeding burning love.

O sweet Jesus, the only comfort of my heart, where is now the fear, which a little before had come upon Thee?

[…] While as yet Thine enemies were far from Thee, Thou wert sorrowful even unto death, and in Thy cruel straits Thou didst sweat blood, and Thou didst pray that the Passion that was hanging over Thee might be taken from Thee by Thy Father.

But now that Thine enemies are before Thine eyes…Thou fearest nothing, Thou tremblest at nothing, and all fear hath gone far from Thee.

Thy betrayer hath come with a crowd of blood-thirsty men, cruel wolves; and of Thine own free will Thou goest forth to meet them.

What doth this mean, O gracious Jesus, except that perfect love hath cast out fear? Oh! how perfectly hast Thou gone out of Thyself, O loving Jesus!

How well hast Thou prepared a place for Thy heavenly Father, in order that He may accomplish within Thee His own most gracious work according to His will.

Oh! how Thou hast spared Thyself in nothing! With what burning thirst hast Thou sought after Thy Father’s honour!

How mightily hast Thou conquered Thyself through love, being made obedient even unto death!

O Jesus, sweet Lover of men, what love is this that hath so swallowed up Thy Heart, that Thou hastenest to death as to a marriage feast, that Thou goest forth to meet Thine enemies, as if they were Thy friends!

Thou couldst not even wait till they addressed Thee, but even as a man saluteth his friends, whom he meeteth on the way, so didst Thou address them first, and say: “Whom seek ye?”

Oh! of a truth, most gracious Jesus, the fire of love had so worked its way within Thee, and melted, and burnt away the marrow of Thy Soul, that all Thy inner man blessed God the Father Almighty, and all Thy members were stretched like a bow to accomplish Thy Father’s gracious will.

For Thy uncreated love as God so moved and kindled Thy created love, that Thou wert wholly ready to satisfy that love in all that it required.

Hence it was that in Thy thirst Thou didst seize the chalice, from which but a little before Thou didst so greatly shrink.

And quickened by love, as a fearless giant, Thou rejoicest to run the way of our salvation.

John Tauler[attributed] (c.1300-1361): Meditations on the Life and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 10.

John Tauler: Oh! That Thy Heart Itself Might Be Melted In The Fire Of Love Friday, Apr 2 2010 

Come then, O my soul, and set thy Lord and Saviour before the eyes of thy heart.

Imagine that thou seest Jesus, the Bridegroom and delight of thy soul, standing before thee.

Imagine Him so pitiably crimsoned with blood, and mangled with wounds, and disfigured, and heart-broken.

Imagine Him suffering these things in order to espouse thee in thy foulness as His bride, and to cleanse, heal, and adorn thee, and to free thee from all thy debt.

How canst thou suffer to see the Beloved of thy heart so miserably treated?

Wilt thou not desire with thy whole heart to be utterly dissolved in tears, in order to wash the all-wounded Body of thy Beloved, and to cleanse it from all its disfigurement?

O happy thou, if all the marrow of thy bones, and thy very heart’s blood, could be distilled in ointment so as to anoint all thy Bridegroom’s wounds!

Oh! that thy heart itself might be melted in the fire of love, and be changed into grateful food for the sweetening of the mouth of thy Beloved, which hath been made so bitter by the vinegar and gall.

And although thou canst do none of these things in reality, yet in desire thou wilt do them, and that is enough for thy Beloved, Who weigheth thy heart rather than thy deeds.

Wherefore, when thou hast thus washed and anointed thy Bridegroom, lay Him to rest with great devotion and reverence on the sweet bosom of God His Father, as on the most pleasant bed that thou canst think of.

Place His worshipful Head, which has been so cruelly punctured by sharp thorns, and which hung so long upon the Cross without anything to rest upon, on the tender breast of God, as on the softest pillow that thou canst find, that He may take His rest.

John Tauler (c.1300-1361): Meditations on the Life and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 33.

John Tauler: Can He Lift Us Higher Than By Setting Up His Own Temple Within Us? Thursday, Apr 1 2010 

As the food taken by man passes into his substance, and becomes of one nature with man, so whosoever worthily receives this Food, is made one thing with our Lord by grace.

And as our Lord says by Augustine, we change not this divine Food into our substance, but rather are transmuted and transformed by it into Himself, and thus are made deiform, and of one nature with Him.

Now this is the way by which we put on Christ, as the apostle admonishes.

Oh! who can ever reach, by any act of the understanding, unto this infinite abyss of deepest love, which God has willed to make known to us in this sublime and wonderful Sacrament?

And this, indeed, He did at the end of His life, that it might be, as it were, the sum, and compendium, and everlasting remembrance of all His works.

Moreover, although it was at the last supper that He first instituted this Sacrament, and gave It to man to take, yet It included within Itself the whole Christ, God Incarnate.

For in this Sacrament He had His true Body, and His living soul, and He was Very God; and these three we receive in this Sacrament.

Where, now, is the heart that will not glow with burning love, and be stirred and moved to devotion, when it considers with what exceeding love He, the King of glory, the Lord of majesty, was consumed for us vile creatures, who are but dust and ashes, in whom, besides, He found nothing but frailty, and sin, and want?

Yet of such He can say: “My delights are to be with the children of men.” Can He lift us higher than by setting up His own temple within us?

Can He love us more than by vouchsafing to become the food of His own creatures?

He is the highest and most perfect Good, with which no other good can be compared, and which can never fail; and because His fatherly and loving Heart could think of nothing better, nothing higher, He gave us Himself, so as to prove to us His bountiful goodness, and the deep love of His Heart.

Bountiful altogether is the bestowal, when He gives Himself, but how much more bountiful when He gives Himself in this way!

For He gave Himself to be out father, and brother, and companion, and food, and ransom, and mediator, and advocate.

Lastly, He will give us Himself for our everlasting reward, and will so satiate us in Himself, that He will be to us all that we can desire.

John Tauler (c.1300-1361): Meditations on the Life and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 4.

John Tauler: Christ’s Death Outweighs All Wickedness Wednesday, Mar 31 2010 

O most merciful Father! by the love and suppliant prayers of Thy beloved Son, pardon the wanderings of Thy sinful servant.

Accept the worthy sacrifice of Thy only-begotten Son, and remember not the wrong done to Thee by Thy wicked servant, for far more hath He paid Thee than all my debt.

Oh! if Thou wouldst only weigh together my malice and His goodness, my crimes and the merits of His bitter Passion, surely the latter would outweigh the former.

For what wickedness can be so great, as not to be blotted out by such sorrow, such affliction, such obedience, such lowliness, such unconquerable patience, and, above all, such unutterable love?

What crime can be so enormous, as not to be outweighed by Christ’s most bitter Death?

O heavenly Father, see! I offer Thee my Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Thy best-loved Son, with great devotion and gratitude, in union with that love, by which Thou didst send Him to me from Thy fatherly Heart, in order that He might take my nature, and free me from eternal death.

See! I offer Thee this unutterable sorrow of His, this anguish incomprehensible to us, but known to Thee alone, which here in the garden He underwent for all my sins, and instead of the sorrow and contrition which by right I ought to feel.

Yes, I offer Thee His sweat of blood, for the tears which I have not in my eyes, which for hardness of heart I cannot shed.

I offer Thee, also, His most humble and burning prayers for all my lukewarmness, and sloth, and negligence.

Lastly, I offer Thee all His grievous labours, the practice of His virtues, His rough and austere life, and all that He did in His human nature.

I offer Thee all the bitter torments which He suffered in His Passion, together with all the praise of the spirits on high, and the merits of all the saints, as a worthy sacrifice to Thy eternal honour and glory.

I offer them for all my sins by which I have ever offended Thee, and for the virtues which I have neglected to perform, as also for all the living and the dead, for whom Thou, O my God, wishest me to pray, and I am bound to pray.

And I offer them that Thou mayest grant to each of them who are still alive, through Thy beloved Son, whatever Thou knowest to be necessary for them to enable them to serve Thee in that state to which, by Thy merciful loving-kindness, they have been called.

John Tauler (c.1300-1361): Meditations on the Life and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 8.

John Tauler: Let Us Contemplate with the Eyes of Our Heart Tuesday, Mar 30 2010 

O my soul, and all ye who love God, come, and let us follow now Christ Jesus with sorrow of heart and inward devotion, and with tears and pity, into the garden.

Let us contemplate with the eyes of our heart, Jesus, that is, our Saviour, the Lamb without spot, how He bore therein all our sins; how heavily, all alone, He trod the wine-press, that like the grape that is pressed with all care, He, too, might be pressed in the wine-press of His Passion, and might pour upon us richly, and give us to drink, the red wine of His precious Blood, so as to make us drunk with His love.

Let us see, I pray you, how the glory of the angels became sorrowful even unto death, that He might carry us into joy everlasting.

For, in order to rescue us from the torments of hell, He bore in Himself all the pains which we had merited; and He, the Lord of might, at Whose look the angels tremble, and every knee is bowed, appeared not as God, but as the poorest, and most abject, and most desolate man, whom the world possessed.

See how He lies with His Face upon the ground, in much anguish of spirit, covered with a bloody sweat, forsaken even by His Father as well as by all men.

There He lies, I say, and prays, not as God, not as a just man, but, as it were, a public malefactor, as some dreadful sinner, as if He were not worthy to be heard by His Father, or, at least, as if He were ashamed to lift up His eyes to heaven.

Does it not seem as if He had been cast away by God, and were held to be God’s enemy, that we who were, of a truth, God’s enemies, might be made His friends and elect children?

It is written: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”. Yet see, how our sweet Jesus, of His own free will, gave Himself up into those Hands, and gladly suffered all the wrath, and vengeance, and punishment of God His Father, which we had deserved, to fall down upon Himself.

[…]Let us also do somewhat for the sake of our salvation; when we see how zealously Christ Jesus, in every member of His Body, and in every power of His Soul, is busied about us.

John Tauler (c.1300-1361): Meditations on the Life and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 7.