The Erotics of Christian Mysticism

Thus speaks God the Lover:
Blessèd are they which do hunger and thirst
after not righteousness, but me.
Blessèd are they who know that my springtime heart desires
not holiness and contrition, but goosebumps on the skin
and butterflies in the belly.

The mystics all knew, those beautiful mossy flowers,
that God the Father is a woman in a tight black dress:
a coquettish deity, who flirts shamelessly with the young:
making lovers of the impetuous who lack prudence
and are not frugal with regards to joy.

To these it is given to enter the Holy of Holies,
to bathe in the sweet candlelit waters of eternal life,
to touch the warm face of God in the secret of Her presence,
to be swallowed up and enveloped by a sacred Yes and Amen.

But alas, like Fortuna, God the Lover is a capricious deity
who forsakes all of her lovers sooner or later:
slipping out suddenly, inexplicably, quietly,
like a thief in the night.
She dashes her lover’s soul upon the rocks
like the delicate head of an unwanted baby,
exposed on a hillside, in some terrible bygone era.

Oh, Paul, how bitter you became!
Oh, Jesus, how heartbroken you must have been,
when you uttered those chilling words from The Cross:
“Lover, lover, why have you abandoned me?”

What is The Bible, if not the annals
of the scorned lovers of God?

—John Faithful Hamer, From Here (2016)

maesta_4
Duccio di Buoninsegna, Maesta, particolare della Crocifissione, 1308-1311

About John Faithful Hamer

John Faithful Hamer is a college professor who still can't swim, drive, or pay his bills on time. His sense of direction is notoriously unreliable, yet he'd love to tell you where to go. His lack of practical skills is astounding, and his inability to fix things is renowned, yet he'd love to tell you what to do. His mismanagement of time is legendary, as is his inability to remember appointments, yet he fancies himself a philosopher and would love to tell you how to live. He wouldn't survive in a state of nature, of that we can be sure; but he's doing quite well in the big city, which has always been a refuge for the ridiculous, a haven for the helpless, and a friend to the frivolous.

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