Monday, May 4, 2009

the book of the heart

The heart can be opened, read and interpreted like a book. For Clare of Montefalco, her "spiritual sisters came to believe so intensely that Christ had painted his cross in her heart that at her death in 1308 they threw themselves upon her body, tore out her heart, and found incised upon it the insignia of the Passion." Or, after the death of Ignatius of Antioch, "they took the heart out of his body, split it down the middle, and found there the name of Jesus Christ inscribed in gold letters ..."
see: Eric Jager, "The Book of the Heart: Reading and Writing the Medieval Subject"

Master of the View of Sainte Gudule, Young Man Holding a Book, ca. 1480

"This is what I want to do in my heart, in front of you, in my confession, and with my pen before many witnesses."
--St. Augustine, Confessions