Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

Poet and Contemplative

“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

Five Advent Poems – Part 2

John the Baptist - Winter Meditations

If You Lord had been here to hear my cry
And give breath to my roaring,
Your love wrapped in thick leather straps about my heart,

Then I wouldn't now need You quite so much to call my soul back
From its weariness.  Oh, silence to silence I advance towards blindness.
My eyes are sunken, sunless, the eyes of winter.


Day has passed over into night.  Chill marks the hour.
Above the far horizon stars appear standing stiff in their formations.
Why did I not know it would be like this someday

Since the hard earth had been my cradle?
Oh, but the thick smell that haunted me last spring--
Again it stirred in my soul, tossing it aloft.


The wilderness is everywhere, which is no fault of mine,
Nor Yours.  It is the task asked of me, this length of loneliness I must walk.
I have lived like this for fifty years and bear its mark on my brow.


You will come, that much is clear, coming neither too early nor too late.
Meanwhile, through years of ardent labor, I will try
To make it happen--turning lives into lives of flesh and bone,
Into prayers that one can touch and speak of.  I hold them up for You to see.

Written by Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD
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