The Hook Of Love

From the sermon “Eternal Birth” by Meister Eckhart

God lies in wait for us with nothing so much as love.

Love is like a fisherman’s hook. Without the hook he could never catch a fish, but once the hook is taken the fisherman is sure of the fish. Even though the fish twists hither and yon, still the fisherman is sure of him. And so, too, I speak of love: he who is caught by it is held by the strongest of bonds and yet the stress is pleasant. He who takes this sweet burden on himself gets further and comes nearer to what he aims at than he would be means of any harsh ordinance ever devised by man. Moreover, he can sweetly bear all that happens to him; all that God inflicts he can take cheerfully.

Nothing makes you God’s own, or God yours, as much as this sweet bond. When one has found this way, he looks for no other. To hang on this hook is to be so captured that feet and hands, and mouth and eyes, the heart, and all a man is and has, become God’s own.

Therefore, there is no better way to overcome the enemy, so that he may never hurt you, than by means of love.

Thus it is written: ‘ ‘Love is as strong as death and harder than hell .”

Death separates the soul from the body but love separates everything from the soul. It cannot endure anything anywhere that is not God or God’s. Whatever he does, who is caught in this net, or turned in this direction, love does it and love alone and whether the man does it or not, makes no difference.

The most trivial deed or function in such a person is more profitable and fruitful to himself and all men and pleases God better than all other human practices put together, which, though done without deadly sin, are characterised by a minimum of love. His rest is more profitable than another’s work.

Therefore wait only for this hook and you will be caught up into blessing and the more you are caught the more you will be set free. That we all may be so caught and set free, may he help us, who is love itself. Amen.

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