(The Spiritual Canticle - Stanza 11-12)
"I know a man in Christ who fourteen
years ago was caught up to the third heaven--whether
in the body or out of the body I do not know,
God knows. And I know that this man was caught
up into Paradise--whether in the body or
out of the body I do not know, God knows--
and he heard things that cannot be told,
which man may not utter… And to keep me from
being too elated by the abundance of revelations,
a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger
of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being
too elated. Three times I besought the Lord
about this, that it should leave me; but
he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for
you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'
I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
The pangs of love consume her heart;
For Him, she'd gladly leave her flesh.
In pure spirit, He will impart
Himself, as bride with Bridegroom mesh.
A weak mortal, she can't receive
Him, without leaving all by night;
To the extent she can believe,
He will draw her soul into flight.
He provides for her in all ways;
She entrusts all she leaves behind
To Him for whom her soul is praise.
In flight, Soul with soul are entwined.
Yet she is called back to her place:
Weighted by flesh, as is His will;
Grounded after their flight of grace:
Groaning for Him; wounded and still.
Each flight refreshes and restores,
Her soul in Him as He sustains,
Her in suspension, as she soars,
To heights of love which Spirit reigns.
The soul that's quenched will thirst for
Love lives for love as ne'er before.
May the Bridegroom draw us deeply into the
mystery of Himself as we seek Him with the
most earnest of loves.
1. 2 Corinthians 12:2-4,7-9
(c) Paul Buis, 2005