Twenty-Fourth Meditation

(The Dark Night, book II: chapter 21-22)

"Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen." (51)

"For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance." (52)

"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails...So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love." (53)

In Disguise

The white tunic of faith, so pure,
Shields her soul from deceiver's lies;
For Him, faith's trials she'd endure;
Faith is the core of her disguise.

The green chain-mail of hope protects
The senses -- her eyes gaze above
The world's ways and their effects
To look only to Him with love.

The red toga of charity
Beatifies and lifts her soul
To Him who is her verity --
Lifted from self, she is made whole.

Faith clears her mind for wisdom's ways;
Hope cleans her memory of all;
Love lifts her will to Him, ablaze --
Whose perfect love burns to enthrall.

Disguised in these virtues, she leaves
Self and all things -- to Him she cleaves.

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love be our armor and disguise for the journey through the dark night to our Beloved.

51. Hebrews 11:1
52. Romans 8:24-25
53. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8,13

(c) Paul Buis, 2004