God’s Absence

Ah blessed absence of God,
How lovingly I am bound to you!

You strengthen my will in its pain

And make dear to me

The long hard wait in my poor body.

The nearer I come to you,

The more wonderfully and abundantly

God comes upon me.

In pride, alas, I can easily lose you,

But in the depths of pure humility, O Lord,

I cannot fall away from you.

For the deeper I fall, the sweeter you taste.


– Mechthild of Magdeburg

Translated by Oliver Davies. From Beguine Spirituality: Mystical Writings of Mechthild of Magdeburg, Beatrice of Nazareth, and Hadewijch of Brahant.