Gelassenheit

Four kinds of people, in the end, get to eat at the Lord’s wedding feast—those that have humility like the poor, those that have patience like the crippled, those that are simple (rather than clever and argumentative) like the blind, and those that deny themselves in spirit and flesh like the lame.

The poor are the humble of spirit.

The crippled are those that deny themselves, “losing their souls to find them.”

The blind live totally free from knowledge based on mere sight and human perception. This sets them free from the created and sensual to cling to God in love.

In popular speech [German as opposed to Latin] we call this Abgeschiedenheit (detachment, spirit of departure). We know that knowledge, even knowledge of the Scriptures, easily hinders us. How much more then, may useless or harmful reasoning, based on the senses hinder us from knowing God?

In last place, the lame are those that get around with the help of others, in spite of their handicap. Of these the Apostle says, “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” This willing surrender of self, this spirit of giving up, we call Gelassenheit.

Nicholaus Kempf (15’th century, Austria)

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