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

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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Reflections on Holy Week – Part 3 of 4

Image by kholisrevenge from Pixabay     The Gospels tell us another resurrection story.  Death becomes a passage no longer strictly into, but through and beyond our personal isolation and abandonment into a state of complete communion in the Spirit (as in esprit de corps).     At the moment of death the question that has haunted me throughout life becomes
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Reflections on Holy Week – Part 1 of 4

What happened to the body of Jesus after his crucifixion?  Where did it go?  It depends on what me mean by body, right?By body are we referring to Jesus’ humanity, or, more specifically, to his mortality, his being subject to a finite existence as an isolated and vulnerable self, ultimately beholden to death?Or, in a similar, but more theological vein, are we referring to his being
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Easter Sunday

The two departed for Emmaus late morning;The heat of the day flopping itself downIn front of them like a hound dog.  Soon the crowdsWould swell and clog the road.                    The dayWas overcast, our two pilgrims downcast—He whom they called Master having become outcast.It almost works with “grown”
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Holy Saturday

Swaddled in white air, the great ash tree sleeps fitfully.Shadowless at noon I walk out among the roses and coriander,A patch of geraniums nearby, all smiles.  Here one talksAbout love poems, without the will to write one.“Oh, I wish I could play the piano like a pro.  Clear and crispMy interpretation of Prokofiev’s Toccata would be…”So a voice in my head distractedly
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Five Poems for Lent and Easter – Part 4

IV.Good FridayHis journey into the final end of it began in earnestWhen his voice first choked, spitting out a salty red brine.They had fed it to him like thick soup, ladling it upFrom deep inside his body.  In his stomach,His throat, his mouth, all the way up,It had burned like tears.  "Death will free me of it,"He'd hoped.  "Then this moment of dying will have becomeOne with my flesh." 
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Five Poems for Lent and Easter – Part 3

III.Our Lady of SorrowsI inch forward from the crowd, urged on by the gathering darkness;A few follow, pressing close behind as if tethered to me by a rope.A single, short cry floods the hills; soon it fades away, echoing onIn my mind's numbness, in the speechlessness of my heart.I am determined to show them, show all of them, these soldiers,That his head has slumped forward, his body hangs lifeless,His
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Five Poems for the New Year – Part 2

II.Mary, Mother of GodHer child was born without arms or legs,But found his legs in the roots of trees,In their thickest roots that chisel through frozen soil;And he found his arms in the roll and wrestle of a brook,In the curve of a swan's neck, in the raysOf the late sun lodged like spears between hilltops.So she carried her child down the road;And from behind the dark weight of each doorway,Of each
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An Intermezzo

For thus says the Lord,The creator of the heavens,    who is God,The designer and maker of the earth,    who established it;Not as an empty waste did he create it,    but designing it to be lived in:I am the Lord, and there I no other.        —Isa 45: 18        Jesus of Nazareth is God’s
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