January 9, 2022
Back in my seminary years, one of my priest mentors advised me regularly to read poetry, in order to maintain a contemplative gaze upon reality, and to see beauty. One modern poet he recommended is a Carmelite nun named Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit. Her pen name was Jessica Powers (1905-1988). Here is a poem Sister Miriam wrote about the Blessed Virgin Mary. She named the poem, “The Pool of God,” because Mary reflects God so powerfully, as a body of water on earth reflects the sky above it. [One note for understanding: The word “enisled” in the second stanza, second line, I take to mean “surrounded like an island.” It is evidently a word Sister Miriam coined for this verse.] May each one of us in this new year imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary, full of blueness and fire.
“The Pool of God”
There was nothing in the Virgin's soul
that belonged to the Virgin –
no word, no thought, no image, no intent.
She was a pure, transparent pool reflecting
God, only God.
She held His burnished day; she held His night
of planet-glow or shade inscrutable.
God was her sky and she who mirrored Him
became His firmament.
When I so much as turn my thoughts toward her
my spirit is enisled in her repose.
And when I gaze into her selfless depths
an anguish in me grows
to hold such bluenes and to hold such fire.
I pray to hollow out my earth and be
filled with these waters of transparency.
I think that one could die of this desire,
seeing oneself dry earth or stubborn sod.
Oh, to become a pure pool like the Virgin,
water that lost the semblances of water
and was a sky like God.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu, Mariae et Iosephus,