Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Sweet Song of Love

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) - who is well known for her philosophical work, her important contributions to a deeper understanding of the authentic dignity and vocation of women, and her martyrdom at Auschwitz - was also a profound poet, in the true Carmelite tradition. Here are my two favorite stanzas of her prayer-poem to the Holy Spirit, which I post in honor of this glorious feast day. May the Holy Spirit fill us anew with His grace and His mercy, and give us a foretaste of eternal life, that we might run more swiftly and surely toward the embrace of Divine Wisdom and Love.

Who are you, sweet light, that fills me
And illumines the darkness of my heart?
You lead me like a mother's hand,
And should you let go of me,
I would not know how to take another step.
You are the space
That embraces my being and buries it in yourself.
Away from you it sinks into the abyss
Of nothingness, from which you raised it to the light.
You, nearer to me than I to myself
And more interior than my most interior
And still impalpable and intangible
And beyond any name:
Holy Spirit eternal love!...

Are you the sweet song of love
And of holy awe
That eternally resounds around the triune throne,
That weds in itself the clear chimes of each and every being?
The harmony,
That joins together the members to the Head,
In which each one
Finds the mysterious meaning of his being blessed
And joyously surges forth,
Freely dissolved in your surging:
Holy Spirit eternal jubilation! 

To read the entire poem, go to: