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.
—-Canticle of John of the Cross Stanza 2
In this second stanza of the Canticle, the soul cries out for intercessors who have not lost their way-people, angelic beings who can touch the garment of God. Is it so strange to feel this type of distance from God? Have you ever felt this way? When we are in our darkest times, we need others to speak to God for us; others who care for us, and seek the best for us. We need intercessors who are living in union with God and feel his presence John expresses his separation from God, and his utter inability to rediscover Him. Perhaps, with just a little help from others we can find God. We can learn from John to lean on others as we travel through our darkness. Perhaps it is with their light that we can find the God we have lost.
- What do you turn to in your times of darkness?
- Who are some guides for your life?
- Do you seek intercessors when in darkness?
- Food for Thought… (3in1gpnprayer.wordpress.com)
Drawing of the Crucifixion by St. John of the Cross
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.
—-Canticle of John of the Cross Stanza 1
God has hidden His true self from us is the first cry of the soul. Indeed every seeker of God longs for the mystical presence because in such a presence we can touch the hand of God. John tells us in his canticle that such a presence is hidden from us. The long journey of the believer is to find that level of the spiritual which is concealed from us by asking God to manifest His divine essence to us. The search for the divine leaves us moaning. We are left in a state of grief because the quest is so elusive. Victory does not come to he who prays the most or the loudest.
The mere wisp of the touch of God flees from us us as quickly as the cautious deer when he sites a man. We get a little glimpse of God, and it wounds us because we want so much more of Him. We call after Him and we cannot find Him. All manner of prayer and sacred reading is this search for the essence of God in the here and now. In John’s canticle I feel a sense of urgency and determination that are vital elements to a true relationship with God.