Today we remember Saint Mechtilde of Hackeborn, a 13th century Cistercian nun from the convent of Helfta. Even in her lifetime Mechtilde was renowned for her humility, fervor and gentleness. Her prayer was marked by the great familiarity and intensity with which she lived her relationship with Jesus and the Virgin Mary.
It was said of Mechtilde that, "the words of the Gospel were a marvelous nourishment for her and in her heart stirred feelings of such sweetness that, because of her enthusiasm, she was often unable to finish reading it.” In one of her visions, Jesus opened the wound in his heart and said to her, "Consider the immensity of my love: if you want to know it well, nowhere will you find it more clearly expressed than in the Gospel. No one has ever heard expressed stronger or more tender sentiments than these, ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.’
In another vision Jesus showed Mechtilde his heart and after receiving such a unique grace in prayer, Saint Mechtilde exclaimed to Our Lord, "O generous King! Such a magnificent gift is not suitable for me. I am not even worthy to serve in your kitchen and wash the dishes there." Christ Jesus answered her, "The kitchen is my divine Heart. As the kitchen is open to everyone...so my heart is always open to all, and ready to give everyone what they desire."
Let us go to this Kitchen always.
Insights from an address of Pope Benedict XVI and from Scholars and Mystics by Sister Mary Jeremy, OP.