“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
Mon, Apr 22 2019
Veneration of the Holy Noose began at 3:45
And lasted a total of 20 seconds. Only two
From a church full of worshippers stepped forward
To kiss the rope and genuflect before the slowly
Swaying, twisting corpse. The rest stayed
In their pews, put off by the spectacle,
Unwilling to engage in the travesty.
Canyons roar in the wind. Trees creak sadly.
Waves throw themselves at the warm sand,
Their bodies emitting an elongated swoosh.
Rocks no longer lie mute, not today,
Not ever; from deep within themselves
They join the chorus.
At the head of it all
The Maestro opens his arms like a conductor
Summoning up the big finale—now he’s
Locked in place, stiff as a board, the last chord
Still raging. Screech, scratch, scrape go the violas
Lost somewhere on the crowded stage.
If only I could mourn fully the utter degradation,
The unrelieved anguish, the everlasting
Crush-you-under-my-heel of the one I regarded
As right and worthy of being listened to
With the ears of the soul—a real challenge
For anyone, but somehow strangely satisfying
Even in failure.
It seems we wanted none of it,
Though. Like an old dog we put him down,
Till he lost his bark, and we could step over him.
Sunset shone in our faces. But my eyes,
Thick with tears, couldn’t squint. Light
Invaded the glass castle that appeared suddenly
Before me. Blood red were the cannon blasts
That breached its walls. Soon night tumbled
From the heavens—though not like a fallen angel;
That’s too severe. Night, rather, brought sleep,
And sleep’s soft blanket. I saw it all around me.
Written by Fr. Bonaventure, OCD