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A poem


 Abbot Francis Benedict, O.S.B.

My first love,

my best love,

tabernacled incarnation,

fiery torrent of jealousy,

wanting all of me eternally;

bleeding pierced heart

dying for unquenchable love of me.


Divine and unrequited lover,

waiting for me to hear your whispered voice,

drawing me into the embrace of your friendship,

willing to teach me of your abundance

if only I would care to listen;

offering me no less than yourself,

your pulsing, enlivening Spirit

to indwell my being beyond measure.


Why do I not care to drink deeply of you,

my everything?

Afraid to die of love

for you as you for me?

Purge away my hardness,

amputate my fear;

boil away my coldness,

break the wall of false attachment

that pays homage to a hollow god.


There is no other love like you

to cherish such as me:

ungrateful sluggard,

pretentious fool,

forgetful lover,

half a friend.


And yet your love for me

is all-consuming, all-pursuing;

a holocaust of self-forgetfulness

waiting for a simple glance

of heart to Heart.


So, in a moment

this perishing body

becomes itself

a tent of meeting,

a tender kiss,

a nuptial promise

of unending bliss;

losing self in love.


For this was I created:

you in me and I in you,




Originally published in Valyermo Benedictine, vol. I, no. 2 (Summer, 1990), pp. 18-19.