Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

Abraham Heschel
acceptance
Advent
Angel Gabriel
angels
Angelus
Anointed
Arkansas
art
artists
autumn
Baptism
Beale Street
beauty
beginning
birth
Blessed Virgin Mary
blessings
blog
blogging
camaraderie
care of soul
Carmel
Carmelite
Carmelite spirituality
Carmelites
Christ
Christmas
church
city
clouds
cold
comfort
communion
compassion
Compline
conscience
consolation
contemplation
contemplative
contemplative experience
contemplative prayer
contemplative spirit
conversation
conversion
cornfields
creation
creation story
creatives
creativity
Creator
Cristian life
crucifixion
Dallas
dawn
death
deep listening
desire for God
detachment
discipleship
distractions
Divine Beauty
Divine Mercy
doves
dreams
Easter
Easter Triduum
Eden
Einstein
Elijah
Emmaus
encounter with the sacred
engineering
eternity
Eucharist
expression
expressive sounds
faith
flux
freedom
fullness
future
gathering
God
God the Father
God the Son
God's blessing
God's creation
God's desire
God's ecstatic essence
God's faithfulness
God's gift
God's gifts
God's glory
God's Kingdom
God's love
God's magnanimity
God's mercy
God's movements
God's presence
God's providential care
God's purpose
God's righteousness
God's word
God's world
Good Friday
Gospels
grace
gratitude
gratuitousness of God
grief
growth
healing
heaven
holiness
Holy Infant
holy longing
Holy Saturday
Holy Spirit
Holy Thursday
Holy Trinity
Holy Week
Holy Wisdom
homily
hope
horizon
human voice
humility
hymn
imagery
images
Incarnation
interiority
interpretation
invocation
Jerusalem
Jessica Powers
Jesus
Jesus Christ
John of the Cross
John the Baptist
journey
journey to God
joy
Judah
knowledge
lake
Lauds
Lent
letting go
life
literary works
Little Flower
Little Rock
Liturgy of the Hours
living for God
loneliness
longing
loss
love
love for God
Magi
March
Mary
Mary Holy Mother of God
Marylake
meditation
Memphis
mercy
metaphors
mission
monastery
moon
morning
mortality
music
mystery
Nativity
natural sounds
nature
new life
New Year
night
nightfall
nostalgia
omnipotence
Our Father
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Sorrows
parable
Paschal Mystery
Passion
path
patience
peace
perseverance
pine forest
poetry
prairie
praise
prayer
prayer life
presence of God
promise
promises
Providence
Psalm
purpose
questions
RB
rabbits
Rachmaninoff
rain
raven
rebirth
receptivity
reflection
reflections
relic
religion
religious formation
resonance
Resurrection
Reurrection
Rock-n-Roll
Sabbath
Sabbath rest
Sacrament
Saint Francis
salvation
science
scripture
seasons
self-forgetfulness
shopping
silence
simplicity
sky
soil
solitude
solstice
sorrow
soul
Spirit
spiritual discovery
spiritual experience
spiritual healing
spiritual journey
spiritual life
spirituality
spring
springtime
St. John of the Cross
St. Paul
St. Teresa of Jesus
St. Therese
stillness
study
suffering
summer
sun
sunset
surrender
symbols
thankfulness
thanksgiving
the arts
the Cross
The Living Flame of Love
The Lord's Prayer
The Lord's Supper
the world
Theory of Relativity
thinkers
time
transformation
trees
trust
truth
unfolding
union with God
veneration of the cross
Vespers
Victory
waters of Baptism
winter
wonder
work
youth


“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 1

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Reflections on Holy Week – Part 2 of 4

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay    What happened to Jesus’ body after his crucifixion?  The gospel speaks of resurrection, of his being raised from the dead.  That’s the word we Christians use, referring to a transcendent, divine victory over death.    Jesus is here with us.  He is here in his body, his humanity, his historical self.  He is here
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The Ghost of Summer

~winter, MarylakeSplendor is part of it, but an elusive part, the partOf Your absence.  The scar and sharp ache of itBitter and unallayed, caught in the jutting densityOf today’s cold and early darkness.  Your brief visit,A lone sunbeam at noon, revived old memories—Golden oldies jittering among dust motes that hoverIn the air while the hour’s subtler urges wax nostalgic,Then slink
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The Hours ~ 7 Poems – Part 7 of 7

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Dragonflies Everywhere

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The Hours ~ 7 Poems – Part 6 of 7

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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 1

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Conjuring Up the Eternal – Part 5 of 7

V.Grace Builds on NatureThere's no sweetness these fruity molecules,Packed tight as clay and strung like lights fromThe graceful, arching branches of these trees,There's nothing they will not undertake for you,Filling your belly with the nectar of a ripe plum,Or stuffing your satchel with choice pears, shapedLike teardrops and tasting of a plenary indulgenceFrom purgatory's cleansing bubblebath of
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Conjuring Up the Eternal – Part 4 of 7

IV.OtherworldlinessFor long years, or so the Anchoress confessed,The sooty black bricks of night encased her onEvery side.  And yellow smoke rose like incenseEach morning.  "One would think I livedIn a chimney," she sighed.  Yet the smell of peasAnd carrots, of beans simmering in a pot,Spiraled slowly upward on invisible wings,While the pulp she squeezed from meaty applesMerited the
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Conjuring Up the Eternal – Part 3 of 7

III.Speaking of DeathInto the box of the black-eyed menace I go,Its coffin lid, like heaven itself, slammed shut.Steep cliffs loom large at each of its four wallsWhere vultures wait their turn in silence.I nod off.  Who knows whether, if I sayI've come here seeking life and wisdom,With these gifts, or with neither, or with someKind of hellish madness, I will return?  NoMatter.  I follow
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Conjuring Up the Eternal – Part 2 of 7

II.New Day, New LifeIt was in the sky that the event occurred.  A soundLike that of buffalo stampeding over stone pavementWas shaken into life by the steady hammeringOf a wet wind pressing in over stormy seas.  BehemothClouds crawled forward on their bellies, smearingGray shadows along the ground in shapes resemblingThat of a mittened hand, its one, fat finger pointing westTo where
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Conjuring Up the Eternal – Part 1 of 7

As those of you who read this blog may have noticed, I've discontinued the practice of attaching interpretive comments to my poems.  I felt too uncomfortable doing it, wanting the poem to speak for itself.But it has been suggested to me that, following each poem, I conclude with a simple question, something to prime the pump (to coin a phrase) of reflection for the reader.  It seemed like
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Three Poems for the Coming of Spring – Part 3

III.A Boy's Song of SpringI want to laugh and sing, to tell riddles or share with youThe dream that woke me this morning, feeding sunlight to my eyes.I want to mix my words with the clatter of a bluejay's boxcar as it passes,Throwing long, like a train whistle, the football of my thoughts.I want to ride Spring's purity of power, its unbridled freedom.  In a nutshell,To take up the joy of a lifetime
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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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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 Lent and Easter – Part 2

II.A Contemplative in LentHow many times did I promise you everything,The wind shaking loose the sweet fruitOf sunrise or sunset, of snowfall in winterOr rain in spring?  How many times, andYou said nothing?  How often did I whisper,"It's me," waiting to receive an answer,And received none?  Yet I will try again this year.Yes, I will promise again to mold my soulInto a clod of soft black
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