Henry Suso, who was born in Constance, Germany, entered the Dominican priory at the age of thirteen. The spirituality of his youth was marked by an extreme and almost morbid asceticism. Eventually, however, he was persuaded by the famous Dominican mystic Meister Eckhart to give up his mortifications, to cease focusing on his own soul, and to “go forth to save his neighbor.”
Suso took to the roads as a wandering preacher. His sermons and writings reflected his passionate and poetic devotion to Christ in the form of Eternal Wisdom, “a gentle loving Mistress.” Everything sweet and beautiful reminded him of “his loveliest Love.” Driven by a desire to enkindle hearts with the love of God, he was responsible for many conversions and attracted a good number of disciples. Nevertheless, he was also beset by humiliating exterior trials, including accusations ranging from theft and fraud to attempted murder and heresy. These scandals prompted an investigation by the Dominican master general that resulted in his complete vindication. He accepted such trials, assured by Christ that “no one can attain to divine heights or to unusual sweetness unless he be first drawn through the example of my human bitterness.”
Suso died on January 25, 1366. He was beatified in 1831.
“Be steadfast and never rest content until you have obtained the Now of Eternity as your present possession in this life.”
—Blessed Henry Suso