Sunday, May 31, 2015

Little Magnificat



If today were not Trinity Sunday, it would be the feast of the Visitation when our Lady sang her Magnificat to her cousin Elizabeth.  Come to think of it, she was also the first to experience in her life the most intimate workings of each of the Divine Persons upon her own little human person.  Here is a poem inspired by this mystery:


Little Magnificat

The God who is great above all things,
Gazed and was magnified in me.
My spirit breathes his exaltation
As each and every generation
Calls me wholly blessed.

For he who is mighty,
(And oh, how holy!)
Has done for me
the greatest thing:

He made my maiden lowliness
His lovely nest
For lowly rest.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Spiritus Spirat Holy Pentecost Sunday



“The wind blows where it wills and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  Jn. 3:8

In all three ancient languages of Hebrew, Greek and Latin, the same word used for “wind” is also used for “breath” or “spirit”, the animated body’s own personal “mini-wind”, or that immaterial something which somehow gives life and movement and whose absence is the infallible sign of death.  Hence, “the wind blows…” in the above passage from St. John’s Gospel, could also be well translated, “The spirit spirates…” or “The breath breathes…”

Today, Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the breathing of God’s own Holy Ineffable Breath upon His Bride, the Church.  Those of us who have received Him now breathe with the Breath that is eternally exchanged between the Father and the Son.  What can be more intimate than breath?  Yet God has come this close to us, that He lives and breathes in the depths of our being.  Our own breath now mingles with His in a kiss of love that makes us one in His Divine Mystery.

Spiritus Spirat

Your breathing fragrance spires mine.
Rising together, they intertwine,
Tendrils of an incense vine
That over us a canopy spread.

Perfuming aloes and myrrh descend
Anointing the dead
And risen again. 

Wherever we will our spirits breathe
Spiraling the bridal wreathe.

A bird flew into one of our hall windows overlooking our courtyard.
When the sun is just right, you can see its imprint on the window glass.
Can you see it?  I am reminded of the Holy Spirit.



Sunday, May 10, 2015

Aqua Sapientiae

Aqua Sapientiae


Latin
Aqua sapientiae
potavit eos,
alleluia:  firmabitur
in illis, et non
flectetur, alleluia:  et
exaltabit eos
in aeternum, alleluia,
alleluia.
Ps. Confitemini Domino, et invocate nomen eius:
annuntiate inter gentes opera eius

Translation

From the water of wisdom
he has given them to drink, alleluia:  it will be established
in them and will not
be changed, alleluia:  and
he will exalt them
forever, alleluia,
alleluia
Ps. Confess to the Lord, and invoke his name:  announce among the nations
his deeds.

Poetic Meditation

I have been given the water
of wisdom to drink
That trickled first
from the temple’s broken side.
Well past are the fearsome days
of that temple’s upraising.
So now the waters grown strong
in me are rising.
Wave upon wave this stream
is ocean wide.
Over the flood God intones his song
And fountains
from the earth respond.
(from the Offertory: “The Lord intoned from heaven…and fountains of water appeared, alleluia”)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Resurrexi

In our monastery, Gregorian Chant holds pride of place in our liturgies.  Every day of the Easter Octave has its own proper chants.  One Sister became fascinated with the introits (entrance chants) and was inspired to write a poetic meditation on each of them.  The next few posts will feature some of her work.

Resurrexi




Latin

Resurrexi, et adhuc
tecum sum, alleluia: 
posuisti super me
manum tuam, alleluia:  mirabilis facta est
scientia tua,
alleluia, alleluia.
Ps. Domine probasti
me, et cognovisti me:  tu cognovisti
sessionem meam, et resurrectionem meam.


Translation

I have risen, and even now
am with you, alleluia:
upon me you have laid
your hand, alleluia:
wonderful has become
your knowledge, alleluia.
alleluia
Ps. O Lord you have probed
me, and known me:  you
have known
my resting, and
my rising again.


Poetic Meditation

I am risen up again
And I am with you still.
You placed your hand upon me
To cut and nail and kill.

The Lord has probed my heart
With pain, and known it to be true.
Send your hand into the wound.
Marvel now-
you know it too.