Italian mystic Maria Maddalena dé Pazzi’s “Loving Madness” (for Jesus!)
Desire is too weak a word to describe the love for God of some mystics. To read of the Italian mystic Maria Maddalena dé Pazzi’s “Loving Madness‚” is to be shocked, shaken, perhaps convinced:
She was filled with perpetual fervor. She thought incessantly of God, she spoke incessantly of God, and she wrought for God incessantly. Often it seems as though she had lost her senses and was entirely within God. At times her inner fire was so great that she could not contain it within her breast: it flamed in her face and poured into her actions and words. … And she said to the sisters that followed her: “You do not know, beloved sisters, that my Jesus is nothing but love, yes‚ mad with love. You are mad with love, my Jesus!” [H.A. Reinhold, 1944: 286-87] (as cited in Harper, 1966: 8).
The following vision by Maria Maddalena dé Pazzi, of Christ’s intimate and complete union with His beloved, leaves little to the imagination:
I saw Jesus united with His bride in the closest union, laid His head upon the head of his bride, His eyes on hers, His mouth, His hands, His feet, all His limbs on hers, so that the bride became one with Him and wanted all that the Bridegroom wanted, saw everything that the Bridegroom saw, tasted everything that the Bridegroom tasted.
And God wants nothing else than that the soul should unite herself to Him in this manner and that He should be entirely united with her. And when the soul leans her head against Jesus’ head, she can want nothing save to unite with God, and that God should unite with her (Buber, 1985: 110).