Beloved, what do you want of me?

by Marguerite Porete

English version by Peter Drunke


Beloved, what do you want of me?
I contain all that was, and that is, and shall be,
I am filled with the all.
Take of me all you please --
if you want all of myself, I'll not say no.
Tell me, beloved, what you want of me --
I am Love, who am filled with the all:
what you want,
we want, beloved --
tell us your desire nakedly

-- from Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women, Edited by Jane Hirshfield

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

This is the way of it -- the terrifying, shattering, exhilarating, total yielding that opens us to true union with the Eternal.

Take of me all you please --
if you want all of myself, I'll not say no.


This is the fierce courage that every saint and sage has found. "Take anything, everything, even my very life, but give me Yourself!" This is the daring prayer of the great peaceworkers and social healers, and of every lover of God.

To reach out this way while remaining free from fear, requires both subtle balance and iron determination, for it throws us into direct conflict with the ego-self's constant assertion that it is the most important thing in the universe. We are forced to step beyond such an impoverished sense of ourselves. Before we can let go of our littleness, we must recognize our immensity:

I am Love, who am filled with the all...

Only then can we say honestly, and with total confidence to that Eternal Presence--

what you want,
we want, beloved --
tell us your desire nakedly



Recommended Books: Marguerite Porete

Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women Marguerite Porete: Mirror of Simple Souls (Classics of Western Spirituality) Women Writing in India: 600 BC to the Present: Volume 1 Christian Mystics: Their Lives and Legacies throughout the Ages The Soul as Virgin Wife: Mechthild of Magdeburg, Marguerite Porete, and Meister Eckhart
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Beloved, what do