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 5

V. Life Lessons I used to do all kinds of things for the first time. The heart hid,Trying not to hammer too loudly its thump, thump, thumpInto the air, though unable not to—it was, after all, my heart. * I stop for gas in a small Nebraska town, and You are there,Passing into the afternoon. I see Your backside like A boarded-up house. At that instant the moment became itself. * I
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Seven Conversation Poems – Part 4

IV.Ready for Omnipotence The sun is sinking as the earth, far away, receives it;The two recede still further, off into darkness. DuskFloats upward, weightless, happy, a last breathMixing with the freedom of the stars. Time expires Into timelessness, and we feel it, this departure—Like the lifting of August that is September, Like the vastness of young
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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 I’d
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Seven Conversation Poems - Part 2

     II.From Youth to AgeI wrote poem after poem.  Amazing the energy I had then,Where today there remains only the balmy stirringsOf music floating like low clouds over lush grass.    *Is it true that anger now moves me as love once did?Is it true that I have grown that old?  I speakOf righteous anger, of course.  For me there’s no other kind.It’s
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Seven Conversation Poems – Part 1

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Three Genuflections – Part 3 of 3

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Three Genuflections - Part 2 of 3

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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” as well—the
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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 declares.It’s
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Good Friday

Veneration of the Holy Noose began at 3:45And lasted a total of 20 seconds.  Only twoFrom a church full of worshippers stepped forwardTo kiss the rope and genuflect before the slowlySwaying, twisting corpse.  The rest stayedIn their pews, put off by the spectacle,Unwilling to engage in the travesty.    *Canyons roar in the wind.  Trees creak sadly.Waves throw themselves
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Holy Thursday

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
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Prayer in poetry

The Our Father Thrice Told    1.Father of all, who watch over all,Though Your name catches in our throatsWhenever we call to You,Yet You are near to us, we know,And gladness fills our days.May sunlight fall gently upon the earth;May thick grass obediently spring up.You have given us the need of bread—Give us fields to till, harvests to reap.We sin, as do our comrades,Yet we seek no
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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 ~ 7 Poems – Part 5 of 7

Initially, I wrote 4 poems for the collection called The Hours. Since the publication of those four poems, I have written three more– The Hours has now been expanded to comprise 7 poems in all.– Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCDV.Late at Night:  Matins (1)~God Sends DreamsWhen I lie down, my mind is filled by Youand through the night watch, I meditate on You. (Ps 63:7)In a first dream, I stepped
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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 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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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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Three Poems for the Coming of Spring – Part 1

I.Another Spring PoemIt cannot be otherwise than with these white-cappedDogwoods loitering here and thereAmid the thin lances of the pine trees aimedAt the sky.  The glass bottomBoat of the heavens floats slowly by overhead,While here below azaleas swirl like schools of fish.Yes, life teems, thick as a coral reef.A distant stretch of field lies strewnWith wriggly dandelions.  And here close
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THE CITY AND BEYOND ~ Four Poems – Part 1

I.Nightfall~DallasSomehow, once I'd climbed out of the wellOf late afternoon,I found it there, set out on a plate,Still fresh after waiting all this timeFor me to arrive.  Yes, evening was offering itselfTo me like a blueberry muffin, with itsPurplish inner auraThat leaves a stain on the tongue.Never would I have asked anything more of youTo prove that you still, that you have always cared,O my
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Poems for the New Year – Part 5

V.Intimations of SpringIt took a thousand years, but at last a new warmthWorked itself free.  Slicing through alleyways no biggerThan a man's fist, this first hint of spring soon picked up speed,Veering left and right like stampeding cattle,Bumping against doors and shutters and jostling wind chimes.The clatter sent pigeons soaring skyward like fireworks,The day's cloud cover parting before them. 
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Five Poems for the New Year – Part 3

III.The Dead of WinterAnd there it was, this solid wall of cold disintegrating in an icy rain.My own bony body had already emptied itself out, soundingA few tinny chords that were unable to build a music for themselvesNo matter how hard they tried.  Now night was washing ashore,A field of black roses flooding the lawn just below my window. *What am I to make of it?  Day had raised a towerOf
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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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At Day's End

~after a conference on St. ThereseWe knocked at the door.  Did she answer?A sprinkle of rain brightened the streets,The trees, the lawns, the sidewalks--The city shone, and her eyes everywhereLooked out as if from behind a window.Hardly daring a smile, she turned and hid.In time a rainbow appeared, traced backTo her open hands . . . She had tossedA white dove in the air and said:  Be free,Free
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