Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for
you as yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me,
and bend your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new….
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

John Donne, Holy Sonnet XIV

In the sixth century, a new accent on the relationship between Jesus and his followers emerged which differed from earlier contemplative views in the West. The image of Christ as Bridegroom of the Soul suggested the relationship between the devout Christian and Jesus was one of the most intimate - and, at times, the most erotic - of relationships. The acceptance of Jesus into one’s life was seen as an experience as profound and as emotionally moving as the most passionate of love affairs, an experience which would purge one’s soul, fill it with Christ’s love, and mystically unite the faithful with God.
Canadian Heritage Information Network, The Provincial Museum of Alberta,

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