Evelyn Underhill, “Jacopone da Todi Poet and Mystic, 1228-1306 – A Spiritual Biography”, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd, London, 1919
Italian translation by Claudio & Massimo Peri (Tau Editrice, Todi, 2019)
BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT
“Yielding himself without reserve to that Greater Life which is ‘present everywhere to those who can receive it’ (Plotinus) his small measure is swallowed up in the measureless; his little, ardent love that burned so fiercely is found to be a spark of the single fire. Within that furnace he receives again, pure of illusion, all that he has renounced. His last stage is not that of the bloodless dreamer, but of the ‘whole man’.
‘Cade e cresce en vigore’ says Jacopone (Lauda XC, Sopr’onne lengua, amore); powers are perfected, defects are healed. Of such a man Blake might say, speaking in another language, that he has ‘put off the rotten rags of sense and memory, and put on imagination uncorrupt’.
Surrendering one by one those graded falsehoods in which we live so comfortably lapped, he finds himself, in the moment of apparent destitution, inheritor of all the riches of the House of God.
BEATI PAUPERES SPIRITU,
QUONIAM IPSORUM EST
If this intimate representation
of the holiness of Jacopone, from the perspective of Evelyn’s holiness, does not move you, what else can move you?