Susan's Thursday morning note April 21, 2012
Madame Guyon (1717) poem on Freedom of the Soul (even in confinement)
Good morning! The Sun has chosen to not grace us with her presence today, but we now know she does exist from her debut yesterday! Our little tulips are dying to show off their hidden colors, the little birds are coming forward to sing for us regardless of their backdrop – spring is slowly creeping into our scene…oh, how we wait for the curtain to officially open! So, so soon! Can you feel it!??!?! I had to settle for a small hotel bag of coffee that wasn’t very tasty, since I forgot to buy any, but my fingers seem to still be taking the messages from my brain enabling me to write for you!
I read a poem this week written by Madame Guyon, imprisoned from 1688-1698, found when she died in 1717. She had spent four years in solitary confinement for her beliefs, in the Bastille, holding a reputation of being the most horrible prison on earth. One condition of her release was that she had to sign she would never reveal what happened to her in the dungeons. What was found among her papers when she died in 1717, was this beautiful poem of her freedom in heart and in her mind.
Freedom of Heart and Mind by Madame Guyon, while imprisoned in the convent of St. Marie.
A little bird I am,
Shut from the fields of air;
And in my cage I sit and sing
To Him who placed me there;
Well pleased a prisoner to be,
Because, my God, it pleases Thee.
My cage confines me round;
Abroad I cannot fly;
But though my wing is closely bound,
My heart’s at liberty.
My prison walls can not control
The flight, the freedom of my soul.
Oh, it is good to soar
These bolts and bars above,
To Him whose purpose I adore,
Whose providence I love:
And in thy mighty will to find
The joy, the freedom of the mind.
This Easter weekend may we commit again to find the same freedom, a song to keep in mind throughout our entire life, knowing in our deepest prayers we will find a freedom in our heart and a freedom in our mind because of the peace given keeping our trust and our eternal perspective… (An inspiring short biography of her influence on royalty while imprisoned and her example of an intense prayer life can be found at this link: Madame Guyon.
Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring-time. Martin Luther
And He departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and behold, He is here. St. Augustine
Have a beautiful weekend, a time for personal reflection, for realizing this time with each other and with our situations is so short in comparison to eternity. If we relate heaven to moving locations, I have found in all the exciting moves of my life – the closer I get to knowing I’m finished with where I am, the easier it is to not have my situations and memories be deep and thought-out, but easier to make trite in my mind, knowing I’m not there permanently. If we can keep the perspective of our life here being so short, because of the resurrection, we know that, as St. Augustine writes, He departed from our sight, and we find Him now in our heart, until we get to enter his presence…so so soon. We’ll be moving. Are we finding the joy from freedom of the mind and the soul as Madame Guyon found because of her prayers in confinement? The little birds in the springtime – especially mornings, maybe that is what I loved most in her poem, her analogy with little birds and their flights. Thank you so much for your constant support and business in our store. Have a great rest of the week & weekend! Let’s have our moments given to us today, regardless of anything from our personal stories, be worthy of writing on our epitaphs tonight…moments that we will never get the chance to relive again. Susan
Latin for this week:
In imo animo stat pulchritudo - Beauty lies in the depths of ones soul.
caelitus mihi vires - My strength is from heaven