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A poet and his commentaries

How many spiritual teachers operate the way St John of the Cross does? I mean, writing a poem and then providing an extensive commentary on it? While the actual poem (and I am thinking here of Ascent of Mount Carmel) is a marvel of brevity and concision, the commentary sprawls out over page after page and takes the author way beyond his original topic. The poems and the commentaries could not be more different. Poetry is a natural medium for the communication of spiritual truth, for our relationship with God is a love relationship and poets are drawn to sing of love. It never ceases to fascinate me that our culture is so saturated with love songs and love stories in film and literature. Our human nature craves love - both to give and receive love - and in yearning for human love we yearn for God's love; but it takes time for us to wake up to this reality. John's poems and his commentaries can help us to draw the conclusion that our human loves are all the time pointing to the One Supreme Divine Love, the only love that can ultimately satisfy our yearnings.

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