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Marguerite Porete: The Mirror of Simple Souls (Classics of Western Spirituality) (Paperback)
The Classics series, which has inspired many less-successful imitations over the years, has fulfilled its promise and given us an invaluable resource of the soul. The Catholic Historical Review Marguerite Porete: The Mirror of Simple Souls translated and introduced by Ellen L. Babinsky preface by Robert E. Lerner LOVE: This Soul has within her the mistress of the Virtues, whom one calls Divine Love, who has transformed her completely into herself, is united to her, and which is why this Soul belongs neither to herself nor to the Virtues. Reason: But who are you, Love? says Reason. Are not you one of the Virtues with us even though you be above us? Love: I am God, says Love, for Love is God and God is Love, and this Soul is God by the condition of Love. Thus this precious beloved of mine is taught and guided by me, without herself, for she is transformed into me, and such a perfect one, says Love, takes my nourishment. Marguerite Porete (?-1310) We know very little about Marguerite Porete, only that she was a beguine from Hainaut who was burned at the stake as a relapsed heretic in 1310. She might have been a solitary itinerant beguine who expounded her teachings to interested listeners. She wrote The Mirror of Simple Souls in Old French sometime between 1296 and 1306. The format of the text is a dialogue among allegorical figures who represent the nature of the relation between the soul and God. The fundamental structure of the discourse is grounded in traditional Neoplatonist philosophy, and courtly language is used to express theological abstractions. The Mirror is a theological treatise which analyzes how love in human beings is related to divine love, and how the human soul by means of this relation may experience a lasting union of indistinct ion with God in this life. This is the first modern English translation of the complete text. The translation is based on a critical edition of the Old French and Latin versions of The Mirror. The introduction sets The Mirror in the maelstrom of political and ecclesiastical tensions and conflicts, and offers an analysis of the French beguine's thought. +