Elements combine without which it cannot be,
prayer into hours, fasting till free,
virtue abiding the normal events in a life,
confession savored, no sin, holy strife.
For stages of prayer no one ever teaches,
save Jesus who in our soul's quiet walk reaches;
if Union with God is to be,
we must seek Him until our eye can see.
No joy on earth greater to know,
His Union with us an innocent flow
coming from Him and open to all,
Eucharist feeding what was lost in the Fall.
Prayer, words begin it, often when small,
mind prayers follow at a crawl
until preoccupation with knowing God
is with loving and serving Him also shod.
Waters of prayer first drawn from a well,
flow to a way and to a stream swell
amid tears, trials, longings, focused hearts all;
mind images gone, Rain begins to quietly fall.
One thing for sure there must be,
effort to set your heart, mind, and soul free;
fasting, abstaining, contemplating, smiling in hurt,
loving, restraining self, humility, face in the dirt.
Love of enemies and friends bound in a gospel life
or moving that way in light, fiery, holy strife.
Then Joy, from God, suddenly in silent stillness
swoops gentle, possessing, raining, bright darkness
consuming me till death looks sister,
and, at times, Fire in my bones burns; God's whisper.
And all must know, Union is a gift, so,
quickly learned is that once given it does go,
and cannot be held as in greed it might,
so openness to the Giver and His Will is surely right.
Brother Not, sfo