Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

Poet and Contemplative

“From the abundance of his spirit [the poet] pours out secrets and mysteries rather than rational explanation” (Prologue, The Spiritual Canticle).

“In contemplation God teaches the soul very quietly and secretly, without its knowing how, without the sound of words” (Chapter 39, The Spiritual Canticle).

In the spirit of St. John of the Cross, this blog reflects on the contemplative experience and the poetic experience, sometimes separately and distinctly, sometimes in common, as mutually enlightening.

I will also post to this blog, from time to time, my own poetry, with a short interpretive note attached.

~ Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD

Seven Conversation Poems – Part 7 of 7

VII. To Think that This is It, the Very Thing A long, long time in the making, and I the recipientOf all this careful planning, even of the mishapsAnd unexpected twists of fate that gave the thing in the endA certain air of improvisation—it is the world remade By this love You have inspired in me, if only forThe briefest of moments, which yet
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Seven Conversation Poems - Part 3

    III.Musings on MortalityAt first I thought—Death shall have the sensation of falling,And as the dark rises to catch me, closing in around me,Who can say what awaits below?  It could go on like this,With me toppling head over heels, for a very long time,Till the sheer loneliness of it all destroyed me, or the fearOf the inexorable thud and sudden, all-consuming pain,Which
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Refelctions on Holy Week – Part 4 of 4

Image by Joseph Redfield Nino from Pixabay     And so Jesus, raised from the dead, is present here among us bodily—working, acting, giving of himself, handing himself over for the sake of his cause, uniting himself in communion with us for the sake of coming of the Father’s kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.”  But, having been raised from the dead,
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The Hours ~ 4 Poems - Part 4

IV.Nightfall:  Compline~The Dark Presence of the DivineYou will light my candle, Lord, my God;You will enlighten my darkness.With your help I can run the race;With your help, my God, I can leap over a wall.            (Ps 18:29-30)    1.A sudden gust of blackbirds awakens,Rising as one thing, a sphere, and rolling off acrossThe cornfields
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The Hours ~ 4 Poems – Part 3

III.Sunset:  Vespers~For St. John of the Cross        Soaring on the wings of the dawnto find shelter in the setting sun,it would be Your hand that would carry me,Your right hand holding me safe,            (Ps 139:9-10)    1.He didn’t have to wait here long.  SunsetSoon came, sliding down the
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The Hours ~ 4 Poems – Part 2

II.Noontime:  Sext~The Angelus    The Lord watches over you,like one who shades you from heatHe is right there, at your right hand.            (Ps 121:5)The pealing bell, each chime shaped into a ball,Rides the air like soap bubbles.  "It's a splendid gesture,Overlaid with the colors of the rainbow, as if a flockOf butterflies spread
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Five Poems for Lent and Easter – Part 5

V.Images for Easter(1) A white stone rolls into The sea and becomes a seashell. A white wave enfolds it.(2) A green and gold bird fits neatly Into the palm of the hand, Perched like a newly minted coin. The wind lifts its song high And sets it down gently Into a nest of invisible sunlight.(3) Fern leaves droop, draped In thin black ribbons of rain. They drink as if from themselves; The rain revives
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God's Mercy, and Beauty – Part 1 of 2

  Mercy and beauty have this much in common, they are both ecstatic.  By "ecstatic" I mean a movement of mind or heart that goes out from the self towards the other.  Ecstasy, while nothing like rapture, does entail, like rapture, a certain measure of self-forgetfulness.  Either I am drawn out of my usual self-absorption by an absorption or fixity upon another person
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