Monday, October 14, 2019

Meister Eckhart

Meister Eckhart is the commonly-known name for Johannes Eckhart (c.1260—c.1328) who is a German Dominican theologian and mystic. He had been teaching theology in Paris, and received the title “Meister” when he received his Masters degree.

Because he often spoke in vague, imprecise language, in 1325 he was accused of heresy. In his sermons he often said things that seemed pantheistic, or erroneous in other ways, which he later corrected. In February of 1327, from the pulpit of the Dominican church in Cologne, Eckhart repudiated the unorthodox sense in which some of his utterances could be interpreted, retracted all possible errors, and submitted to the Holy See.

The following poem is from Meister Eckhart's Book of the Heart: Meditations for the Restless Soul, (2017, Hampton Roads Publishing) which is translated by scholar Jon M. Sweeney and poet Mark S. Burrows.

Nine Words of Prayer

God, our only,
Scripture, our gift,
Holy, the qualities we seek.

The Name, sweet on the lips,
The love, intimate and secret,
Humility, again and again.

Vain is the world;
Miserable, those apart;
And Blessed, the sainthood
-----we seek.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.