Friday, March 09, 2007

The Living Flame of Love, by St John of the Cross

I am reposting this poem by St John of the Cross because I sense it is so fitting for the times we are in and because I think it got lost in the proverbial shuffle. And as an editorial note, I am refraining from any opinons or comments regarding all that is going on in the Church and the AC for this Lent. I think I needed the break as much as a few other bloggers. Blessings on all of you as you move through your Lenten journey this season before Eastertide. Catherine+

St John of the Cross found inspiration for some vivid physically-charged poetry regarding the "uninteresting wilderness" of contemplative prayer.

Here is Kavanaugh and Rodriguez's translation of The Living Flame of Love written by St John:

O living flame of love
that tenderly wounds my soul
in its deepest center! Since
now you are not oppressive,
now consummate! if it be your will:
tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!

O sweet cautery,
O delightful wound!
O gentle hand! O delicate touch
that tastes of eternal life!
and pays every debt!
in killing you changed death to life.

O lamps of fire
in whose splendors
the deep caverns of feeling,
once obscure and blind,
now give forth, so rarely, so exquisitely,
both warmth and light to their Beloved.

How gently and lovingly
you wake in my heart,
where in secret you dwell alone;
and in your sweet breathing,
filled with good and glory,
how tenderly you swell my heart with love.

Photos one and three: courtesy of Google Images
Photo two: courtesy of


Brenda Stevens said... have no idea how this blessed me and confirmed a WHOLE bunch...

Catherine said...

Brenda, you are most welcome. It is great to see that people still read previous posts, especially ones from a very difficult time in my life. Thank you.

Brenda Stevens said...

found you in the strangest old book while cleaning; The Living Flame of Love, leafed through it an out came a picture taken in 1975 and led to write about my first love..

Sooo when researching to link the book for reference..i found YOU with the SAME BLOG BACKGROUND as myself! Major chills in Florida..AND a very special prayer for you. KNOW you are not alone..just the dark night of the soul sustains us for a Holy Kiss. No interruptions of earthlings necessary : ) ((hugs))

Brenda Stevens said...

this is my blog i wrote if you would like to take a i was led to you ((hugs)) Brenda

Brenda Stevens said...

we are NEVER alone : ) He was created and was made the ultimate sacrifice. We just have to believe it was for us! SEE THE HEALING receive the loving .... selah

Brenda Stevens said...

Pray you are still doing well ((hugs))