TODAY'S THEME: A Picture of the Soul
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Welcome To The Religion Network!
I'm Lisa Bowman. The Religion Network is an interfaith web site providing inspiration, quotes and religious resources. Faith and religion are precious gifts that bless. However you worship, I hope this
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Sofia von Klingnau was a German nun of the 13th or
14th century. Early in her life of holiness, she apparently
was graced with what she called a great comfort: 
a vision of her very soul.

Sofia shared none the details of this vision with anyone until
she was near the point of death. As she lying dying, one of
the other nuns begged her to reveal what she had seen.
After praying to discern whether God willed that she tell
her story, she described what she had seen.

It happened on the feast of the Holy Nativity. She'd stayed behind
after mass to pray. She began to recall her earlier life and realized
how much it had displeased God. The realization distressed her
to the point she could no longer stand. She begged for mercy
and dragged herself back to her room to hide. She prayed:

"In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum.
Redemisti me Domine, Deus veritatis.

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
You have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth..."

(continued below)

"...And when I had said (the prayer), I saw that a light, beautiful and blissful
beyond measure, was coming from heaven, and it surrounded me and
shone through me and illuminated me entirely, and my heart was trans-
formed all of a sudden and filled with an unspeakable and strange joy,
so that I utterly and completely forgot all the misery and torment that
I had ever known until this time. And in the light and in the joy, I saw
and sensed that my God was taken up from my heart and out through
my mouth and high into the air, and there it was given to me to see my
soul clearly and particularly with spiritual vision, as I have never seen
anything with physical eyes, and all its form and grace and beauty
was shown to me fully...The soul is so entirely spiritual a thing that
one cannot really compare it to any physical thing...But... I will
give you a parable which may help you understand..."

(continured below)

"It was a round, beautiful, and illuminating light, like the sun, and was
of a gold-colored red, and this light was so immeasurably beautiful
and blissful that I could not compare it to anything else...And in this
light which was my soul, I saw God blissfully shining, as a beautiful light
shines out of a beautiful radiant lamp, and I saw that he nestled up to
my soul so lovingly and and so kindly that he was wholly united with it
and it with him. And in this union of love my soul acquired from God the
certainty that all my sins had been wholly forgiven me...

And this bliss lasted in me for eight days, and when I came to myself
again and became aware that a living spirit was in me, I stood up and
was the most joyful person, so it seemed to me, on the whole earth...
And from the abundance of the measureless joy my body had grown
so light and agile and so without any infirmity that for those eight days I
never felt whether I had a body...and I had no hunger nor thirst nor de-
sire to sleep...And when I had passed these eight days in such bliss,
the grace was withdrawn from me, so that I no longer had the
contemplation of my soul and of God in my soul,
and then for the first time I felt I had a body."

(From the Toss convent near Winterthur,
Elsbet Stagel's Sister-book).

Excerpted from "Ecstatic Confessions,"
by Martin Buber
Harper and Row, 1985

And now, the Last Word:

Everything is linked with everything
else; so divine essence is below as
well as above, in heaven and on earth.
There is nothing else.

Moses de Leon (died 1305)
Spanish Jewish mystic


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Bonus quote:

They change their sky, not their soul,
who run across the sea.

Horace (65 B.C - 8 B.C.)
Full name: Quintus Horatius Flaccus
Leading Roman lyric poet during the reign of Augustus


On today's
Home Page:

Sofia von Klingau;
Moses de Leon