Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

Provincial Blog

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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

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,
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Elijah on Mt. Horeb--A Parable for Contemplation

        There are other ways, besides being analytical about--as I have been--to talk about the contemplative experience of God.  One such way is through the use of narrative.  And, of course, there is one such story, drawn from Scripture, that has come to have this significance for Carmelites.  It is the story of Elijah on Mt. Horeb--or on Mt. Sinai.   
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An Intermezzo

For thus says the Lord,The creator of the heavens,    who is God,The designer and maker of the earth,    who established it;Not as an empty waste did he create it,    but designing it to be lived in:I am the Lord, and there I no other.        —Isa 45: 18        Jesus of Nazareth is God’s
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Setting the Table—Part Three

        St. John of the Cross has little to say about poetry itself or the process of its composition.  What he does have to say is almost exclusively to be found in the prologue to his commentary on The Spiritual Canticle, where he discusses, briefly, the sources of his inspiration and the manner of his poetic expression.  For example, in the first paragraph
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Setting the Table—Part Two

        The following lines are from a poem by Kathleen Raine, a British poet and scholar who died in 2003:    And must I then take pity on    The raging of the storm    That rose up from the great abyss    Before the earth was made,    That pours the stars in cataracts    And
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