Such is the sight of saints. . . . Their heart is their eye

Eyes don’t see. Catherine of Emmerich was right to say that she only saw through the heart. Such is the sight of saints. How could they not see more than us, who see only through our senses? The eye has a limited field; it always sees from the outside. But with the world of your heart, introspection is the only mode of knowing. The heart’s visual space = God + the world + nothingness. That is, everything.

The eye can magnify; in the heart everything is magnificent. I understand Mechthild of Magdeburg when she laments that neither the beauty of the world nor the saints can comfort her, nothing but Jesus and his heart. Neither mystics nor saints need eyes; they don’t look at the world. Their heart is their eye.

[E. M. Cioran, Tears and Saints]