Wednesday, December 14, 2005

St John of the Cross

The Pauline Rite keeps the memorial of St John of the Cross today. The Discalced Carmelite Order keeps it as a Solemnity. There is a quite a bit on the web about St John. This page contains a little vita and some good links near the bottom. The hymn for Lauds in the English version of the Carmelite Propers for today is a poem of Sr Miriam of the Holy Spirit, a lovely, mystical verse appropriate for the author of The Ascent of Mount Carmel:

Let us together
Up the high mountain
Go where the weather
Keeps a June glow
You in your beauty,
Where'er we go.

Up past the steepest
Cliffs of our striving,
Up from the deepest
Thickets of pain
Where darkness bound you,
Ravaged and slew you,
Till daybreak found you,
Risen again.

Haste then our going
Up the high mountain,
Pure water flowing
Down from the height,
Wind in the spruces
Light on the aspens,
Fruit of sweet juices--
All give delight.

Deep caverns holding
Secrets of heaven,
Summits unfolding
Myst'ries divine,
Nightingale singing,
Grove lit with beauty--
Each new day bringing
Taste of new wine.

Sweet the ascending
Up the high mountain,
Sweeter the ending--
Love spread abroad.
Everyone sharing
Grace of your image.
Everyone bearing
The beauty of God.