Since today (September 12) is the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary and since one of today’s readings is Blessed Mother’s Magnificat, I was reminded of The Living Flame of Love which has been called the “Magnificat of St. John of the Cross.” Like Mary’s song of love when she met Elizabeth, John’s song of love lifts me every time I read it. Like Mary’s song, John’s song emphasizes the impact of God; the fact that our job, in the end, is to make space for the Holy Spirit who is constantly waiting, hovering, impending and imploding our set little worlds.
Flame, alive, compelling,
Yet tender past all telling,
Reaching the secret center of my soul!
Since now evasion’s over,
finish your work, my Lover,
break the last thread, wound me and make me whole!
Burn that is for my healing,
Wound of delight past feeling!
Ah, gentle hand whose touch is a caress,
Foretaste of heaven conveying
And every debt repaying:
Slaying, you give me life for death’s distress.
Oh lamps of fire bright-burning
with splendid brilliance turning
deep caverns of my soul to pools of light!
Once shadowed, dim, unknowing,
now their strange new-found glowing
gives warmth and radiance for my Love’s delight.
Ah, gentle and so loving
you wake within me, proving
that you are there in secret and alone:
Your fragrant breathing stills me,
Your grace, your glory fills me
so tenderly, your love becomes my own.