Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I must wipe the tablet clean of everything

"Although God is Almighty, He can only work in a heart when He finds readiness or makes it. He works differently in men than in stones. For this we may take the following illustration: if we bake in one oven three loaves of barley-bread, of rye-bread, and of wheat, we shall find the same heat of the oven affects them differently; when one is well-baked, another will be still raw, and another yet more raw. That is not due to the heat, but to the variety of the materials. Similarly God works in all hearts not alike but in proportion as He finds them prepared and susceptible. If the heart is to be ready for the highest, it must he vacant of all other things. If I wish to write on a white tablet, whatever else is written on the tablet, however noble its purport, is a hindrance to me. If I am to write, I must wipe the tablet clean of everything, and the tablet is most suitable for my purpose when it is blank. Similarly, if God is to write on my heart, everything else must come out of it till it is really sanctified. Only so can God work His highest will, and so the sanctified heart has no outward object at all."

 -- From a sermon by Meister Eckhart


Mark said...

Thanks for this and for all your recent posts.

aspiring... said...

Thank you, ocd sister; these analogies are delightful, very engaging!

I may have answered my own question about how this can apply to and conflict with various duties of state, and varying responsibilities and hindrances, etc.

My own tablet might be blank and 'ready,' but preprinted at the top of it nonetheless, is "employee" or "homemaker," lest I forget :) ! It's a GIVEN that one's opportunity and path to sanctification is his lot and station and palette of duties in life, which can't be neglected -without loss to that very sanctification.

Here, Eckhart is addressing one's interior life and deference to God's direction GIVEN his state or occupation or circumstances or duties, I must think.

I appreciate your site very much.

God bless you, I pray.

aspiring... said...

It just occurred to me. Wiping the tablet clean is akin to wiping the slate clean which is akin to the process of confession and absolution of sins. Each sentence in the post works in this context... Hm. Perhaps I'm just late 'getting it,' and everyone else already knew... :) ?

the booklady said...


Although I do agree with you that, 'Wiping the tablet clean is akin to wiping the slate clean which is akin to the process of confession and absolution of sins', I also think it refers to undue attachments. It may encompass all attachments ... it probably does, as I think about it, because to be 'attached' to something/someone would be to put that thing/person before God. We can't have anything/one coming before God if we want God to work in our heart.

Thank you Sister for this -- and all the other -- quotes!