19 March 2009

Solemnity of Saint Joseph: "To Live With the Spirit," by Jessica Powers

I used the blog space this was in to post a poem by Phyllis McGinley for St Patrick's day and am moving this here. It seems particularly appropriate to mark this Solemnity of St Joseph who did indeed quietly and unobtrusively listen to and live with the Holy Spirit, despite the risk and cost. (Icon by Nancy Oliphant)

To live with the Spirit of God is to be a listener.
It is to keep the vigil of mystery,
earthless and still.
One leans to catch the stirring of the Spirit,
strange as the wind's will.

The soul that walks where the wind of the Spirit blows
turns like a wandering weather-vane toward love.
It may lament like Job or Jeremiah,
echo the wounded hart, the mateless dove.
It may rejoice in the spaciousness of meadow
that emulates the freedom of the sky.
Always it walks in waylessness, unknowing;
it has cast down forever from its hand
the compass of the whither and the why.

To live with the Spirit of God is to be a lover.
It is becoming love, and like to Him
toward whom we strain with metaphors of creatures:
fire-sweep and water-rush and the wind's whim.
The soul is all activity, all silence;
and though it surges Godward to its goal,
it holds, as moving earth holds sleeping noonday,
the peace that is the listening of the soul.

(1949;1984, Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD)