Eighth Meditation

(The Dark Night, book I: chapter 10)

"Jesus answered and said to her, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'" (16)


A wellspring swells from deep within:
Its water pure and cold and clear;
Its Source is tranquil and hidden;
It quenches the soul that draws near.

At first she tries to dig or drill,
As thirst has parched her like dry sands;
But the spring stops, blocked up and still --
It only flows through open hands.

The heart and mind, at total rest,
In silent, tranquil, loving peace,
Knows that the spring flows at its best
When the soul's stilled without a crease.

To still the soul and persevere
In prayer opposes former means,
Where, actively, she'd engineer
Discursive thoughts and imaged scenes.

This transition, doubtful and slow,
Prepares her for His love's inflow.

May the gentle, peaceful love of God flow tenderly into the stillness of our souls.

16. John 4:13-14

(c) Paul Buis, 2004