Book of the Beloved

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A Christian mystical text containing the revelation made to a young girl in a Benedictine monastery in the mountains of Austria in 1974. It is a revelation of the extraordinary quality of the love of God communicated, not through light and joy, but through a dark and powerful suffering, which she identified as “the mystery of Christ’s cross.” The original manuscript was faithfully written down as a direct record of this experience. It takes the form of a dialogue or interaction between God as the Lover of the soul, and “Maria” as His Beloved. A major theme is the struggle of the Beloved to overcome the “Yes buts” of human nature in order to be able to say a “perfect Yes” to her Maker. Each dialogue moves through suffering and miscomprehension towards final happiness and liberation, prefiguring the change from death to resurrection. The manuscript remained a puzzle to its writer for eighteen years, at which point she gained an insight into the moment of “self-yielding” which transforms the suffering into bliss. It was then, whilst staying in an Austrian farmhouse on a mountain-side, that she wrote the poetry which re-interprets the text, as a hymn to “the Star-Love” of ecstatic intensity. Over thirty years after the original event, realising the experience may also have meaning for others, the writer worked on the manuscripts. During a period of deep reflection at her home in Scotland, she then wrote the commentaries. She hopes that this book, a lifetime’s endeavour, may prove enlightening to others as to the nature of God’s love.

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