Longing for heaven

Discussion in 'The Saints' started by garabandal, Jun 21, 2020.

  1. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    A beautiful reflection by St Teresa on holy Love and her desire to die and be with Gd.

    I Live Without Living In Me

    Teresa of Avila

    I live without living in me,
    and I expect a life so high,
    that I die because I do not die.

    I live already beside myself
    since I am dying of love;
    because I live in Him,
    who wanted me for Himself:
    when I gave my heart to Him
    He placed this sign in it,
    that I die because I do not die.

    This divine prison,
    the love in which I’m living,
    has made God my captive,
    and my heart free;
    causing in me such passion,
    to see God, my prisoner,
    That I die because I do not die.

    Oh, how long is this life!
    How hard this exile,
    this prison, these chains
    which my soul has entered!
    Just waiting to get free
    causes me so much fierce pain,
    that I die because I do not die.

    Ah! so much bitterness in this life
    without God as my lover!
    Because if to be in love is sweet,
    to wait so long is not:
    take this burden God,
    heavier than steel,
    that I die because I do not die.

    Trusting in You alone, I only live
    because I know I’ll die
    because in death I know
    that I will live;
    death, where I’ll find life
    do not be slow, it is you I wait for,
    that I die because I do not die.

    You see how strong love is;
    life, do not hinder me,
    you see, all I need do to gain you
    is to lose you.
    Come on already sweet death
    come quickly death
    that I die because I do not die.

    That life above,
    that is the true life,
    until this life dies
    nothing can be enjoyed in living
    death, don’t be coy;
    let me live by dying first,
    that I die because I do not die.

    Life, what can I give
    to my God who lives in me?
    In losing you,
    then I am worthy of gaining Him.
    I want to reach Him by dying,
    Since I love my lover so,
    that I die because I do not die.
  2. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    My absolute favourite poem by St John of the Cross. This so perfectly describes our spiritual journey with God.



    Where have you hidden,
    Beloved, and left me moaning?
    You fled like the stag
    after wounding me;
    I went out calling you, but you were gone.

    Shepherds, you who go
    up through the sheepfolds to the hill,
    if by chance you see
    him I love most,
    tell him I am sick, I suffer, and I die.

    Seeking my Love
    I will head for the mountains and for watersides,
    I will not gather flowers,
    nor fear wild beasts;
    I will go beyond strong men and frontiers.

    O woods and thickets,
    planted by the hand of my Beloved!
    O green meadow,
    coated, bright, with flowers,
    tell me, has he passed by you?

    Pouring out a thousand graces,
    he passed these groves in haste;
    and having looked at them,
    with his image alone,
    clothed them in beauty.

    Ah, who has the power to heal me?
    now wholly surrender yourself!
    Do not send me
    any more messengers,
    they cannot tell me what I must hear.

    All who are free
    tell me a thousand graceful things of you;
    all wound me more
    and leave me dying
    of, ah, I-don't-know-what behind their stammering.

    How do you endure
    O life, not living where you live,
    and being brought near death
    by the arrows you receive
    from that which you conceive of your Beloved?

    Why, since you wounded
    this heart, don't you heal it?
    And why, since you stole it from me,
    do you leave it so,
    and fail to carry off what you have stolen?

    Extinguish these miseries,
    since no one else can stamp them out;
    and may my eyes behold you,
    because you are their light,
    and I would open them to you alone.

    Reveal your presence,
    and may the vision of your beauty be my death;
    for the sickness of love
    is not cured
    except by your very presence and image.

    O spring like crystal!
    If only, on your silvered-over faces,
    you would suddenly form
    the eyes I have desired,
    which I bear sketched deep within my heart.

    Withdraw them, Beloved,
    I am taking flight!
    Return, dove,
    the wounded stag
    is in sight on the hill,
    cooled by the breeze of your flight.


    My Beloved, the mountains,
    and lonely wooded valleys,
    strange islands,
    and resounding rivers,
    the whistling of love-stirring breezes,

    the tranquil night
    at the time of the rising dawn,
    silent music,
    sounding solitude,
    the supper that refreshes, and deepens love.

    Catch us the foxes,
    for our vineyard is now in flower,
    while we fashion a cone of roses
    intricate as the pine's;
    and let no one appear on the hill.

    Be still, deadening north wind;
    south wind, come, you that waken love,
    breathe through my garden,
    let its fragrance flow,
    and the Beloved will feed amid the flowers.

    You girls of Judea,
    while among flowers and roses
    the amber spreads its perfume,
    stay away, there on the outskirts:
    do not so much as seek to touch our thresholds.

    Hide yourself, my love;
    turn your face toward the mountains,
    and do not speak;
    but look at those companions
    going with her through strange islands.


    Swift-winged birds,
    lions, stags, and leaping roes,
    mountains, lowlands, and river banks,
    waters, winds, and ardors,
    watching fears of night:

    By the pleasant lyres
    and the siren's song, I conjure you
    to cease your anger
    and not touch the wall,
    that the bride may sleep in deeper peace.

    The bride has entered
    the sweet garden of her desire,
    and she rests in delight,
    laying her neck
    on the gentle arms of her Beloved.

    Beneath the apple tree:
    there I took you for my own,
    there I offered you my hand,
    and restored you,
    where your mother was corrupted.


    Our bed is in flower,
    bound round with linking dens of lions,
    hung with purple,
    built up in peace,
    and crowned with a thousand shields of gold.

    Following your footprints
    maidens run along the way;
    the touch of a spark,
    the spiced wine,
    cause flowings in them from the balsam of God.

    In the inner wine cellar
    I drank of my Beloved, and, when I went abroad
    through all this valley
    I no longer knew anything,
    and lost the herd that I was following.

    There he gave me his breast;
    there he taught me a sweet and living knowledge;
    and I gave myself to him,
    keeping nothing back;
    there I promised to be his bride.

    Now I occupy my soul
    and all my energy in his service;
    I no longer tend the herd,
    nor have I any other work
    now that my every act is love.

    If, then, I am no longer
    seen or found on the common,
    you will say that I am lost;
    that, stricken by love,
    I lost myself, and was found.

    With flowers and emeralds
    chosen on cool mornings
    we shall weave garlands
    flowering in your love,
    and bound with one hair of mine.

    You considered
    that one hair fluttering at my neck;
    you gazed at it upon my neck
    and it captivated you;
    and one of my eyes wounded you.

    When you looked at me
    your eyes imprinted your grace in me;
    for this you loved me ardently;
    and thus my eyes deserved
    to adore what they beheld in you.

    Do not despise me;
    for if, before, you found me dark,
    now truly you can look at me
    since you have looked
    and left in me grace and beauty.


    The small white dove
    has returned to the ark with an olive branch;
    and now the turtledove
    has found its longed-for mate
    by the green river banks.

    She lived in solitude,
    and now in solitude has built her nest;
    and in solitude he guides her,
    he alone, who also bears
    in solitude the wound of love.


    Let us rejoice, Beloved,
    and let us go forth to behold ourselves in your beauty,
    to the mountain and to the hill,
    to where the pure water flows,
    and further, deep into the thicket.

    And then we will go on
    to the high caverns in the rock
    which are so well concealed;
    there we shall enter
    and taste the fresh juice of the pomegranates.

    There you will show me
    what my soul has been seeking,
    and then you will give me,
    you, my life, will give me there
    what you gave me on that other day:

    the breathing of the air,
    the song of the sweet nightingale,
    the grove and its living beauty
    in the serene night,
    with a flame that is consuming and painless.

    No one looked at her,
    nor did Aminadab appear;
    the siege was still;
    and the cavalry,
    at the sight of the waters, descended.
    Mario likes this.
  3. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    St Clare of Assisi sums up the mystical in a paragraph - we die to ourselves to gain God and Heaven - what a great exchange rate -
    The greatest bargain - in exchange for surrendering to love we gain the pearl of greatest price an eternal beatific vision of the Triune God.

    What a great laudable exchange:
    to leave the things of time for those of eternity,
    to choose the things of heaven for the goods of earth,
    to receive the hundred-fold in place of one,
    and to possess a blessed and eternal life
    Mario likes this.
  4. Mario

    Mario Powers

  5. Mario

    Mario Powers

    These poems lure me back to the Canticle of Canticles! Thanks garabandal!

    3:1 In my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and found him not. 2 I will rise, and will go about the city: in the streets and the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I found him not. 3 The watchmen who keep the city, found me: Have you seen him, whom my soul loveth? 4 When I had a little passed by them, I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him: and I will not let him go, till I bring him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that bore me.
    garabandal likes this.

Share This Page