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'In agro dominico' - March 27, 1329
The papal bull condemning Meister Eckhart 

Articles 7-9 : Prayer


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

The seventh article. Also, that he who prays for anything particular prays badly and for something that is bad, because he is praying for the negation of good and the negation of God, and he begs that God be denied to him. 

The eighth article. Those who are not desiring possessions, or honors, or gain, or internal devotion, or holiness, or reward or the kingdom of heaven, but who have renounced all this, even what is theirs, these people pay honor to God. 

The ninth article. Recently Ι considered whether there was anything Ι would take or ask from God. Ι shall take careful thought about this, because if Ι were accepting anything from God, Ι should be subject to him or below him as a servant or slave, and he in giving would be as a master. We shall not be so in life everlasting. 

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Notes by Ellopos 


Three articles of obvious rightness, what is it that made the Pope condemn them? The more obvious their rightness is, the greater the absurd threat that the Pope must have felt in dealing with them. He thought, maybe, that the first of these articles was abolishing prayer, the second all moral discipline and even hope, the third, prayer again and obedience to God. If this is true, then we understand that for the Pope to ask and receive is the core and substance of relating with God, so that the ultimate aim of the Church is to make possible this asking and receiving. What Eckhart did with this bold teaching, was just to remind what Christ said: “and in that day ye shall ask me nothing”.[1] If the Church is to prepare indeed, for that day, then she must teach people how not to ask: in what kind of a relationship with God asking is irrelevant, and why and when asking is a denial of being with God? This is the question Eckhart asks. A wrong answer may indeed dissolve all prayer and the Church, but the question is necessary, and avoiding it is an assured distruction of the Church.

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