August 21, 2009

Read His Poetry First?

As always, I turn my heart towards the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose Immaculate Heart draws me into her maternal love, and uniting me with her, she will truly and perfectly unite me to her Son. There are many layers of not-God to peel away before I may reach the Center of my being, the indwelling of God, and it is through the Virgin Mary that I am assured of the most direct route to this center. May I imitate her always in having a heart that is always intent on the will of God and directed towards His merciful love. -- Psalm 46:11 - A Journey to Truth

I happened aross a video link (scroll down) of a couple of priests visiting the grave of St. John of the Cross (via Ellyn, who has another post up that well describes my own exisistential unease at the self-checkout lane at the supermarket).

I was surprised - shocked even - that the first works recommended by one of the priestly experts on St. J of the Cross was not Dark Night of the Soul or other instructional writings but his poetry. It seems somehow emblematic in how we find our way to God not strictly through reason but through love, a sort of unreason.

Perhaps it's merely that the priest thought that to see St. John first in love (in his poetry) will facilitate the harsher medicine of his message of detachment. (Not having read St. John's poetry suggests how weak that 'perhaps' is.) Why John of the "Cross"? the priest was asked. "Because it was in the imitation of the totality of the Christ's offering to the Father that you truly become holy."


“What is grace” I asked God.

And He said,

“All that happens.”

Then He added, when I looked perplexed,

“Could not lovers
say that every moment in their Beloved’s arms
was grace?

Existence is my arms,
though I well understand how one can turn
away from

until the heart has

- St. John of the Cross

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Much of what John wrote is extensive commentary on his poems.

Jim McCullough