Blessed Jordan of Saxony on Spiritual Struggles

jordan of saxonyBlessed Jordan of Saxony (1190-1237) was one of the heroes of the first generation of the Dominicans, and St. Dominic’s successor as Master of the Order. He was especially famous for his recruitment of vocations: they said when people heard he was coming to town, they would sewing habits for all the men who would be joining the Dominicans!

But he is also justly famous for his letters to Bl. Diana d’Andalo, a Dominican nun. Below, an excerpt. These letters are beautifully exemplify true Christian friendship. The below is also a fine statement on how the love of Jesus draws us through struggles.


Be strengthened, dearest daughters, in the Lord Jesus,” your
Spouse, whom you have prudently chosen for yourselves in
preference to all the desirable things of this world, and whom,
as I hope, you hold tightly with the arms of prayer and tears,
and press close lest He flee from you. Do not fear, therefore,
because “there is now nothing to condemn in you,” since you
possess the Author of salvation, the Lord Who wills, knows
how, and can deliver you from all distress, tribulation and
even anguish of heart.

diana_jordanWho therefore among you, even though for a time
assailed by weariness, afflicted with hardness of heart, with
the torrent of devotion dried up, would dare to say: “My Lord
hath abandoned me,” and He hath no care for me because I do
not feel the usual outpourings of love”? May such words
never come from a spouse of the gentle Jesus Christ. They
may say this who are ignorant of His accustomed ways,
namely of the way He is wont to inflame the desire of His
spouses. As I have often told you when I was with you, to this
purpose does your Spouse withdraw Himself for a time:
that you may seek Him ardently, and having sought Him you
may find Him with greater joy, and having found Him you
may hold Him more tightly, and holding Him you may not let
Him go, as the Spouse who in the Canticles after much
Searchings, and many questionings whether anyone had seen
her Beloved, exclaimed, when she had at last found Him, “I
hold Him nor will I let Him go.”