I know the dark thoughts
that keep you awake at night
It can’t be true.
But what if it is?
There is no peace
turning one way
or the other.
This is too much for you to bear, my love.
Let me wrap my arms around you.
Lean your head against my chest
until your soul is stilled.
We will go into the darkness together
and see what light we find there.
I have stilled and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child with his mother,
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
–Psalm 131:2 (ASV)
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Steve Bell sings the words of St. John of the Cross. He wrote this while imprisoned in a cell by a group of Carmelites who opposed the reforms he and Teresa of Avila were bringing to the order.
“Despite [St.John’s] argument that he had not disobeyed the ordinances [of his superiors], he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment. He was jailed in a monastery where he was kept under a brutal regime that included public lashings before the community at least weekly, and severe isolation in a tiny stifling cell measuring barely 10 feet by 6 feet. Except when rarely permitted an oil lamp, he had to stand on a bench to read his breviary by the light through the hole into the adjoining room. He had no change of clothing and a penitential diet of water, bread and scraps of salt fish. During his imprisonment, he composed a great part of his most famous poem Spiritual Canticle, as well as a few shorter poems. The paper was passed to him by the friar who guarded his cell. He managed to escape eight months later, on 15 August 1578, through a small window in a room adjoining his cell. (He had managed to pry open the hinges of the cell door earlier that day.)” Wikipedia.
St. John’s powerful words remind us that nothing can separate us from God and that in that union there is peace, joy and wonder.
What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.
Thank you – that is such a beautiful poem!
Thanks so much. Sorry that it took a while to post your comment. I was on a camping trip.
Thank you, Esther. I was able to pass on your beautiful words tonight to a dear friend who is grieving and wondering about God.
Thank you, Julia.
That is so hard. I will pray for your friend.