Jordan of Saxony: Their Hearts Catch Fire in Their Prayers and Meditations Thursday, Nov 8 2012 

I urge you to think of those “ancient paths” by which our predecessors hastened to their rest with all the intensity of their spirit, and now reign with the Lord, forever comforted in bliss and repose; all the days of pain with which God humbled them have now been turned to joy.

When they lived on earth, it was for spiritual gifts that they were jealous; they thought little of themselves and scorned the world. It was the kingdom they longed for, and so they were strong to endure hardship, enthusiastic for poverty, on fire with love.

Surely our father Dominic, of holy memory, was one of these. When he was living with us in the flesh, he walked by the Spirit, not only not fulfilling the desires of the flesh, but actually quenching them at the source.

He displayed a true spirit of poverty in his clothing, his food and his behaviour. He prayed constantly, was outstandingly compassionate, used to intercede for his sons with abundant tears because of the fervour of his zeal for souls.

Difficulties did not daunt him, obstacles did not worry him. We could see from the works he accomplished, from his virtues and miracles, what a great man he was on earth. Now that he is with God, his greatness has been made known to us in these last days, when we were moving his holy body from its previous burial place to a more noble tomb.

Praise to our Redeemer! Praise to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for choosing such a man as this to be his servant and for setting such a man over us as our father, to form us by his religious training and inspire us by the example of his resplendent holiness.

[…] There are some among you, by the mercy of God, for me to rejoice over and thank God for. There are some whose aim is beauty, who do cultivate their consciences, who do seek perfection and who do work hard at their preaching, who are zealous in study, whose hearts catch fire in their prayers and meditations, who keep the Lord always before them, looking to him as the one who will reward and judge their souls.

Rejoice, if you are such as these, and seek to abound still more. But if you are not yet like this, work at it, devote energy and attention to it, so that you may grow towards salvation in him who called you to this state of grace in which you find yourself, not to make you lukewarm, but to make you perfect.

Jordan of Saxony (c.1190-1237): Encyclical Letter, from the Supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours for the Order of Preachers, Feast of All Saints of the Order of Preachers (November 7th).

Jordan of Saxony: “Enter into the Joy of the Lord” Monday, Jun 7 2010 

“My daughters are truly decked out and adorned” but “not after the similitude of a temple as theirs” that is, as men’s daughters are, for although in them appears a similitude (to the temple) yet in them there is no sanctity.

“The Temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.” And there is no doubt but “that the Lord is in His Holy Temple”, that is, in you.

“Do not weep, therefore, daughters of Jerusalem over yourselves” because I have gone from you in body, but rejoice over your Spouse who is in your midst.

“I too am present with you in spirit” rejoicing and recollecting that still a little while and my daughters “will be led to the Lord King and presented to Him in joy and exultation”.

They will be led in after her, the Virgin Mary, His Mother, chosen from among all virgins. She is unique, “His dove, His beautiful one”, “all fair and there is no spot in her.”

She is one “that bath not known sin”; she is full of charity and love, “full of grace, blessed among all women and the Lord is with her.”

After her will the spouses of Christ be led into that “temple of the King” “that is not made with hands” “where the Spouse rejoices over the bride” according to Isaias: “And your God will rejoice over you”.

You will come into Sion with songs of praise and everlasting joy, that is, with “the crown of immortality upon your hands” which is called joy.

You will then receive the kingdom of glory and “the diadem of beauty from the hand of the Lord”, for then is it that He says to His faithful servant “Enter into the joy of the Lord”, of Thy Lord, the Lord of the Order of Preachers.

“Then will all your sorrow be turned into joy and your joy no one will take from you”, for we shall rejoice eternally with Jesus Christ, Who is blessed forever and ever.

Jordan of Saxony (c.1190-1237): Letter 11 to Diana of Andalo.

Jordan of Saxony: Standing at the Right Hand of Christ Saturday, Feb 13 2010 

Stand therefore at the right hand of thy Spouse, “clothed in a garment of gold”, “adorned with a charity that is not feigned”, but “ruddy and pure” from the ardor and fervor of Christ.

But where wilt thou get this gold to gild thy garments? From the “land of Hevilath” which means the land of sorrow. There is Christ Who says: “Attend and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow”.

There wilt thou find gold and “the gold of that land is very good”. For there Christ gave evidence of the greatest possible love because “greater charity no man hath than that by which a man lays down his life forhis friends” – as if He would say: this is the greatest love, this is the best gold.

There the mines are open. “They pierced”, He says “My Hands and My Feet”. Others have labored in these mines but thou canst enter in their labors and like a friend and “a dove live in the clefts of the rock”, and “that rock is Christ”.

There wilt thou find an abundance of gold, the plenitude of charity. But if thou findest gold, wilt thou collect it and conserve what thou hast collected?

It is the rivers that flow from the fountains and wounds of the Savior that give evidence of an abundance of this ruddy gold; in fact the very rivers are golden.

If therefore thou shalt stand at the Right Hand (of Christ) thou wilt be gilded from the stream flowing out of His Right Side.

Approach therefore and stand nearer that thou mayest be more thoroughly saturated, that “thy garments may be reddened by Him Who treads the winepress”.

There indeed at the Right Hand did the Saints stand “with the Queen” their mother, the Church, and “they washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb”.

Jordan of Saxony (c.1190-1237): Letter 7 to Diana of Andalo.

Jordan of Saxony: “Let Not Thy Heart Be Troubled” Friday, Feb 5 2010 

At all times, dearest, “be strengthened in the Lord and in the might of the power of God”, and confirm the other Sisters. And rejoice always in Him “in whose right hand are delights even to the end”.

For behold quickly will come “the nuptials of the Lamb” whose “right hand is filled with gifts” to give comfort to those grieving with desire for the fatherland, and sweet wine to those bitter in soul because of love.

He will come “to wipe away the water” of present dissatisfaction and sorrow (and change it) into the wine of the Holy Vine, that excellent wine, “the wine that rejoices the heart of man”, the wine by whose sweetness His beloved ones are inebriated, the wine of eternal joy, the new sublime wine, which is poured out to His Elect at the table of the heavenly court by the Son of God Who is blessed for ever and ever.

[…] I beseech thee by thy love for the Lord, “let not thy heart be troubled neither let it be afraid” if thou sufferest tribulations for Christ, because “if we are partakers of His sufferings, we shall also be companions in His consolations”.

“Let thy service be reasonable” so that thou mayest please thy invisible Spouse. “Be strengthened in the Lord”; whatever shall be apportioned to thee, accept and endure in sorrow, and in thy humility have patience. The Lord be with thy spirit.

Jordan of Saxony (c.1190-1237): Letters 2 & 5 (extracts) to Diana of Andalo.

Jordan of Saxony: Keep Living in the Heavens with Holy Desires Saturday, Jan 30 2010 

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.