Clouds on Fire

Often when people make retreats in our guest house, the Lord moves their spirits to expression in creative ways - drawing, painting, poetry, etc. - and we love when we get a glimpse of the Spirit’s action in their hearts! We were recently blessed to have a seminarian on retreat here, and were touched when he shared a poem he wrote as he reflected upon the Passionist contemplative life. With his permission, we share those musings with you!

View from Angel’s Peak - photo by retreatant Kate Mims

Clouds on Fire

A Cloud's Shadow Seen on the Rolling Hills of a Retreat

You, O Lord are the only thought;
The retreatant feels the world as naught
Then space around him sings with fire -
The chanting flame of divine desire.
Strange burning - not straight from its source -
Mediated through another course . . .
And there! beside him, short and tall
Are shadows behind the cloistered wall.

Like clouds, but of far greater worth,
They move unconnected to the earth;
Frail shades whose massive souls above
Are known by the light thrown from God's love.
No wonder they've been brought so high
Others climb Mt. Carmel, but these fly
Aloft on suffering and prayer
To the Lord's Passion, which their hearts share.

They are a sacramental sign
Of God's Mercy's overpow'ring shine.
His fiery love makes theirs look dark
Compared to His Sun, they're but a spark.
Yet in this world of creeping night
These virgins holy bear lamps alight.
And we, from those far clouds ablaze
Light torches to Your unending praise.

-Br. Nathan Mudd, CPM
May 2019