Twentieth Meditation

(The Dark Night, book II: chapter 13)

"Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment." (42)

"And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment…Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, 'Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.'" (43)


Still clothed in old garments of sin,
She falls, prostrating at His feet;
Though new wine's not for old wineskin,
The urge of love's longings replete.

With bitter tears, her contrite heart,
Washes His feet of her weak dust;
Her soul is cleansed, but kept apart,
From Him at whom her soul is thrust.

With deepest esteem for her King,
Caressing His feet with her hair;
Yearning for Him, her whole being,
Lurches from love to deep despair.

In time, she will behold anew,
And love freely without a stain;
In fresh wineskins, He will imbue,
His Spirit like a fine champagne.

Her love yearns deeply with daring;
His flame advances with flaring.

May our deep yearning for the Beloved draw us ever closer to Him in love.

42. John 12:3
43. Luke 7:37,38,44-47

(c) Paul Buis, 2004