Today the church honors the feast day of a number of saints in the mystic tradition including St. Catherine of Siena, Johannes Tauler, and Blessed Henry Suso.
But I’d like to lift up one of my favorite 14th Century mystics, Meister Eckhart.
Eckhart, whose formal name is Johannes, was born sometime around the year 1260 in Germany. He was trained as a Dominican, and true to form was known as a wonderful preacher.
His teachings were not only deeply mystic and spiritual, but were also seen as being on the fringe for his day (and still may be considered so, today!). Because of this, he was brought up on heresy charges by the Archbishop of Cologne, and died before the matter was settled.
Years after his death a papal bull was distributed that named some of his writings as heretical, noting that “he wished to know more than he should.”
My favorite quote of the great Meister is:
“What good is it to me that Mary gave birth to the son of God fourteen hundred years ago, and I do not also give birth to the Son of God in my time and in my culture?
We are all meant to be mothers of God. God is always needing to be born.”
Eckhart is a reminder for the church, and for each of us, that the quest to “know more than we should” is one to be risked.
We should all quest to know more than we should…