Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

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“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

Prayer in poetry


The Our Father Thrice Told

    1.

Father of all, who watch over all,
Though Your name catches in our throats
Whenever 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 retribution on each other,
Praying that You, too,
Seek no retribution on us.
Help us walk uprightly, never proudly;
And since our souls are weak, unsheltered,
Protect us from summer’s heavy heat,
Winter’s bitter cold.


    2.

Father, Your loveliness is beyond measure,
Showering unnumbered riches upon us.
Let us sit today beneath Your fig tree
Conversing of Your hopes for us;
Let our hearts tremble, our souls sail skyward.

How like trusting deer we come each day
To feed from Your hand.

When in shame our spirits sink before You,
Look kindly upon us,
For we, too, look kindly on all

Whose spirits sink in shame before us.
And never forsake us, we pray,
No matter where the world may take us,
For deep in our hearts we know
That there is no saving god but You.


    3.

Holy Father, transcending all things,
Maker of the world to come,
Your words bestow silence and peace;
We hear them, our minds soar within.
Give us knowledge; let it linger long
Stretching out before us, leading us
To where You would have us go.

You feed us with Your manna
That falls freely, like grain before geese;
Yet how we flourish, even to fullness.

Mercy awaits us, if only we would step forth
From the forest’s gloom into Your sunlit meadow.
Then, as we journey on,
Let our path be always through forgiveness.
May the devouring beasts know fear of us
And run quickly away.



Written by Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD
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