(The Dark Night, book II: chapter 23)
"You who dwell in the shelter of the
Most High, who abide in the shadow of the
Almighty, say to the LORD, 'My refuge and
fortress, my God in whom I trust.' God will
rescue you from the fowler's snare, from
the destroying plague, will shelter you with
pinions, spread wings that you may take refuge;
God's faithfulness is a protecting shield.
You shall not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day, Nor the
pestilence that roams in darkness... No evil
shall befall you, no affliction come near
your tent. For God commands the angels to
guard you in all your ways. With their hands
they shall support you, lest you strike your
foot against a stone. You shall tread upon
the asp and the viper, trample the lion and
the dragon." (55)
Under cover of the dark night,
Cloaked in disguise of senses stilled,
She slips away from Satan's fright
To Bridegroom's den where she's fulfilled.
The senses are a giveaway
Of what occurs within the soul;
The enemy drives disarray
In her with hope she'll lose control.
At times the dark spirit assails
Her with horror of heinous deeds;
It seems as though its pierce prevails
Her soul's left convulsing and bleeds.
Yet the Lord permits this deep purge
To prepare her for His great feast;
From each combat, she will emerge --
Bridegroom triumphs over the beast!
Even the horrors of the night
Prepare her soul for Bridegroom's light.
May the Lord grant us the graces of courage
and perseverance to sustain us through the
passing horrors of the night.
55. Psalm 91:1-6,10-13
(c) Paul Buis, 2004