The Living Flame of Love

ode to the feast day of St John of the Cross passed

Oh, living flame of love
That tenderly woundest my soul in its deepest centre,
Since thou art no longer oppressive, perfect me now if it be thy will,
Break the web of this sweet encounter.

Oh, sweet burn! Oh, delectable wound!
Oh, soft hand! Oh, delicate touch
That savours of eternal life and pays every debt!
In slaying, thou hast changed death into life.

Oh, lamps of fire,
In whose splendours the deep caverns of sense
Which were dark and blind with strange brightness
Give heat and light together to their Beloved!

How gently and lovingly thou awakenest in my bosom,
Where thou dwellest secretly and alone!
And in thy sweet breathing, full of blessing and glory,
How delicately thou inspirest my love!

St John of the Cross. Euclid, Ohio.


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