Thomas Traherne on Love for God

A student’s query took me back to one of my favorite books, CENTURIES by Thomas Traherne. This is book 1, no. 91:

“O Jesu, Lord of Love and Prince of Life! who even being dead, art greater than all angels, cherubims. and men, let my love unto Thee be as strong as Death and so deep that no waters may be able to drown it. O let it be ever endless and invincible! O that I could really so love Thee, as rather to suffer with St. Anselm the pains of Hell than to sin against Thee. O that no torments, no powers in heaven or earth, no stratagems, no allurements might divide me from Thee. Let the length and breadth and height and depth of my love unto Thee be like Thine unto me. Let undrainable fountains, and unmeasurable abysses be hidden in it. Let it be more vehement than flame, more abundant than the sea, more constant than the candle in Aaron’s tabernacle that burned day and night. Shall the sun shine for me; and be a light from the beginning of the world to this very day that never goeth out, and shall my love cease or intermit, O Lord, to shine or burn? O let it be a perpetual fire on the altar of my heart, and let my soul itself be Thy living sacrifice.”

There is another marvelous meditation for the Lenten journey. His reference to Anselm is the declaration, “Had I to endure all the bodily pains of hell or commit a sin, rather than commit it, I would choose hell.” How rarely do we realize just what our salvation costs and what our growth in it to sanctification should be. Traherne’s goal should be ours: “Let the length and breadth and height and depth of my love unto Thee be like Thine unto me.”



About Fr. Peay

I am a priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany and Associate Professor of Church History/Field Education Director at Nashotah House Theological Seminary. FLOREAT NASHOTAH (May Nashotah Flourish) is my first attempt at blogging and will focus on reflections on theological education, spirituality, and, from time-to-time, thoughts on the Church and its role today. I am married and have two step-sons.