« Prev Chapter V. How he inscribed upon his heart the… Next »


How he inscribed upon his heart the gracious Name of Jesus.

AT this season there came down into his soul a flame of intense fire, which made his heart all burning with divine love. Now one day that this feeling was strong within him, and he was suffering exceedingly from the torments of divine love, he went into his cell to his place of retirement, and, rapt in loving contemplation, 21spoke thus:—Ah, sweet Lord! would that I could devise some love-token, which might be an everlasting sign of love between me and Thee, as a memorial that I am Thy beloved, and Thou art my heart’s only beloved; a sign which no oblivion might be ever able to efface. In this fervour of devotion, he threw back his scapular, and, baring his breast, took in his hand a style; then, looking at his heart, he said:—Ah, mighty God! give me to-day strength and power to accomplish my desire; for Thou must be burnt to-day into my very inmost heart. There upon he set to work, and thrust the style into the flesh above his heart, drawing it backwards and forwards, up and down, until he had in scribed the Name of Jesus upon his heart. The blood flowed plenteously out of his flesh from the sharp stabs, and ran down over his body into his bosom; but this was so ravishing a sight to him through the ardour of his love, that he cared little for the pain. When he had finished, he went thus torn and bleeding from his cell to the pulpit under the crucifix, and kneeling down said:—Ah, Lord! my heart and soul’s only love! look now upon my heart’s intense desire. Lord, I cannot imprint Thee any deeper in myself; but do Thou, O Lord, I beseech Thee, complete 22the work, and imprint Thyself deep down into my very inmost heart, and so inscribe Thy holy Name in me, that Thou mayest never more depart from my heart.

Thus he bore upon him for a long time love’s wound, until at length it healed up; but the Name of Jesus remained upon his heart, as he had wished, and the letters were about the breadth of a smooth stalk of corn, and the length of a joint of the little finger. In this way he bore the Name upon his heart until his death, and at every beat of his heart the Name moved with it. When newly made, it was very visible. He bore it secretly, so that no one ever saw it, except a companion of his, to whom he showed it in spiritual confidence. Thenceforth, when any trouble befell him, he used to look at the love-token, and his trouble became lighter. It was his wont also at times to say within himself fond words like these:—See, Lord, earthly lovers write their beloved’s name upon their garments; but I have written Thee upon the fresh blood of my heart.

Once upon a time, after matins, when he had finished praying, he went into his cell, and sitting down upon his chair, he placed the book of the lives of the ancient Fathers under his 23head for a pillow. Thereupon he was rapt in ecstasy, and it seemed to him that a light streamed forth from his heart; and as he looked, there appeared upon his heart a cross of gold, and there were worked into it in noble fashion many precious stones, which gave forth in brilliant light the Name of Jesus.

Then the Servitor took his mantle, and drew it over his heart, intending, if he could, to cover up the bright light which streamed from it, so that no one might behold it. But the fiery radiance shone forth so ravishingly that all his attempts to hide it were of no avail against the power of its loveliness.

« Prev Chapter V. How he inscribed upon his heart the… Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection