“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
Sat, Apr 20 2019
Take this, He said—this tear-swollen ocean. This skyThe size of a receding star and all the dark around it.This field of dandelions, their countless fists raisedIn imitation of the sun, worshipping its warmth.This whiskey-colored forest floor distilled from tonsOf pinecones. This poem that St. John of the CrossUsed to called his Eine kleine Nachtmusik—“goodFor fanning cedars and little
The Hours ~ 4 Poems – Part 3
Tue, Oct 2 2018
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 distant
Five Advent Poems – Part 4
Wed, Dec 21 2016
IV.At the Deathbed of St. John of the CrossAnd when you died, we felt your hands trembling in ours; or was it our handsTrembling in yours? The night had won through to us and stoopedAt the door like some beast come home to its cave; we heard itPurring contentedly--the fireplace ablaze, logs aflame.Maybe it was just your last, strangely tender breathing we heardSpread through the room like sleeping
Tue, Feb 23 2016
First, I will quote a couple of lines from a poem by Jessica Powers (who in Carmel was known as Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD): Music by right is for the solitaries whom a long silence trains to the profound. The lines are
The Main Course--What is Contemplation? (Part Two)
Fri, Jul 3 2015
St. John of the Cross I've somewhat lost my train of thought in these reflections on the topic of contemplation which I've been pursuing, or have meant to be pursuing, in this blog. No matter. I'm not going to go back and try to recover it. Instead, I'll forge ahead. What, then, is contemplation?