If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts. Psalm 95:8
Gertrude knew herself as God’s dwelling place. As she matured in this experience, she blossomed in justice and charity. Her graced understanding of the mystery of the indwelling Trinity empowered her to open herself completely to the Divine life and impulse beating within her own heart. Her zeal for God flowered in gracious words of love and wisdom so that even a hardened heart was softened by her care.
Gertrude was awakened to the living presence of Christ dwelling deep within her. Indeed, Gertrude experienced the depths of her own heart. This awakening, a mystical grace, made Christ so real for her that again and again she returned to her own heart to dwell in this holy presence. Gradually, she overcame the resistance within herself and moved toward unconditional surrender to God’s will in her.
Few of us would be so prepared to receive the special grace of awakening that was given to Gertrude. This was the beginning of her life of mystical prayer. But that is not to say that we cannot experience awakening. Whenever people awaken to their deep inner selves, spirituality begins. This is an awakening to Mystery, to God, to the Sacred everywhere and in everything.
In the fleecy wool
of your Eternal Hospice
wrap my naked being.
Excerpted from Gertrude of Helfta: Companion for the Millenium by Sr. Evangela Bossert, OSB, available at the Book & Gift Shop in the Welcome Center and online at StGertrudes.org/shop.
Gertrude is the patroness of this monastery.